Jesus went up to Heaven, to His throne on high. This happened so that we would have more of Him. He went up and sent the Spirit to live in our hearts. He is above all things and in all of us. He gave us the Word with its life. He gifted us and put us in the Body, the Church to minister by His power. He moves and uses us as He used Stephen. Ephesians 1:17-23; Ephesians 4:8-12; Acts 6:12-15; Acts 7:56
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 2/9/2020
P. Schaller –
Today is our missions day and we tonight have a special missions evening with P. Renaldo, P. Scibelli, the
missions office putting it together. We have flags here that represent where Greater Grace missionaries
have gone with the ministry of Christ. Let’s say it this way. Throne ministry. This is a phrase I
want you to learn. It’s not Greater Grace or Baptist or Pentecostal or something. It’s more what
God has been doing for the last 2,000 years in history through his Son, Jesus Christ who
ministers in this world through his authority on the throne at the right hand of the Father.
I want to introduce our theme from John. 20:17. Before we do, let’s take a flag here. Is that Brazil?
There’s a 100 people, 1,000 people or thousands of people in that country or even in some
places something that God did, and he had an impact in a community with a group of people
and he came into their hearts and he sent his Holy Spirit into them. They were born again and
the Holy Spirit filled them with joy and peace and God did it. How did they do it? By his Son who is
ascended up into heaven.
Five times in our New Testament he is seated at the right hand of God, on the majesty on high. Before he ascended, he met Mary. Jesus said touch me not. She wanted to grab ahold of him tightly and keep him. He said don’t grab ahold of me for I am not yet ascended to my Father. John 20:17. Now there have been different teachings and ideas of why he said this to her. One I read recently that I really like, and it makes a lot of sense. She knew him
in his earthly ministry. She could touch his body and see him, and he could be there, and she
Let’s say he’s up to Galilee and she’s in another place. He lived in an earthly body. Now he says don’t grab ahold of me and hold me because I’m going to go and where I go I’m going to give you something you don’t have now, but I’m going to give you something and I will be with you always wherever you are. I will be with you forever. I’ll read this to you, “When she took ahold of him, Jesus said do not hold onto me. What does this mean?
Some people assume that Jesus is saying you must not touch me as if he was sacred. But Jesus said don’t hold onto me. I’m returning to my Father. He was indicating that after he ascended, she would have access to even a stronger love relationship. Why? Because then he would literally never leave her. He would not just be in her arms sometimes but in her heart always. Mary, I can
understand why you don’t ever want to lose me, your friend, but if you really understood what was going on.” I like that phrase.
If you really knew what was going on, what I am doing, where I am going, where I will be seated; you would not try to hold onto me in my body. You’d be understanding I must go so that not only you but someone in China, Brazil, Finland all through history I would send my Holy Spirit and I would have a ministry to you that we will speak about
this morning that will change your life. I will do this for you. This is why I came. This is why I
came, not just simply to live in Israel, but I came so that I’d be on a throne and that throne would have
an impact on all these countries and many more.
And they would be affected and changed by my ministry from the throne. For I am high and ascended high, far above all principality and power. St. Augustine said it this way, “You ascended from before our eyes and we turned back grieving only to find you in our hearts.” That’s good. They were standing watching him disappear in the
clouds. Then two men appeared. Why do you stand here gazing? As they go back to Jerusalem,
thinking about these things then this is when the ministry of the throne of God, the throne of
Christ affected them.
Ten days later Pentecost came. The book of Acts is written to tell us what the throne ministry of Christ does in this world. We are in it. We will explain that this morning. I’m so touched by it. I believe it. We have seen it in our lives of faith. We have seen it around the world and in history as we read our history books and read about what God did. What God did in the first century with Justin Martyr. What God did with Clement of Alexandria. What God
did with Augustine. What God has done through history. It’s amazing. Because His ministry has been
given to him from the Father and he has overcome, and we are here with a testimony of that.
So, we are going to have a good day today. Our service this morning, the theme of missions and
tonight our service and all through the week. There is a Marriage Getaway Friday night and Saturday
and we can play that little video.-offering-
That was a sweet song. Halleluiah! Before we open the word
and teach, stand with me and bounce right up out of your seat. Jesus was here in the gospels
and we saw him living and moving and working and healing and raising the dead and teaching
parables and doctrines about life.
Then he left. Where is he today? What is he doing? How does it work? How does it work in your life? Does Christ really make an affect? Does he affect your life? How does that happen? That will be our theme today. We want to praise him before we start. Take a minute and have a prayer for your neighbors and for friends, and relatives and
people you work with, for God to do things. Where is Jesus Christ? He’s at the right hand of the
Father. What is he doing there. He has received all power and authority in heaven and earth
and has that authority come to us.
In Ephesians 1:17-19 it says – there is a prayer, the prayer of the apostle that God would give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. That we need help in understanding. We need wisdom and revelation to know what it is we have. Vs. 18. That means our eyes would some how be opened. Ever been in a dark room
where the light is out and then you switch on the light. In another way, Jesus is ascended into heaven and we
can’t see heaven and his throne.
What if God while we were on this earth what if he flipped on the switch and we would see what we have and who we are. What authority do we have, who are we? What is it that we have in our hearts? I read one writer said he recalled seeing a movie where an ex-marine who was in his 80s had been caught in a high crime and the military police came out arrested the 80-year-old man who was involved with some crime. A sharp, nasty lawyer convicting
him of his crime and one of the old man’s friends just moved his tie to the side and there was a military
metal of honor that he had obtained in Hiroshima in World War II.
When the military police saw the medal, they snapped to attention, and the lawyer also. Because though the man was a criminal he had a past and an identity as a hero. And the hero status kind of eclipsed the dirty picture.
The writer said that this has to do with us. Because what we have been brought into is of such
high order. That whatever we would do in this life cannot change what it is that we have received
through Jesus Christ. Some of you may not like that. I don’t know if you do or not but it’s
powerful. It’s deep
Is that Oliver?
Amen, Oliver. Let’s welcome Oliver. amen. Good to see you.
Could somebody turn the switch on in my life. I’m a Christian but I’m so beat up by how much I have failed in different areas of the Christian life. I just don’t know much at all. Could someone turn the light on and show me. When Jesus said to Mary don’t touch me, hold on to me or keep me here because I’m going to go and be in you wherever you go. I’m your teacher, your Christ, your Savior and for whoever believes on me through this whole period. Vs. 18-20. There is something that happened when God raised him from the dead that has a lot to do with you.
Someone said to me after the 9:00 service, they said it must be that God sees in us something
beautiful that we cannot even see in ourselves. It must be that God sees in you and me
something that cost him his Son. We don’t even realize what it is he sees but we are made in
the image of God and maybe we don’t know what that really means, that we are made in the image
of God. And that when God saw us he goes it’s going to cost me, but I want it so bad. I want them. I want
them so badly.
I want their hearts; I want their minds. I want their lives. I made them in my image and
I’m giving my Son and when he raised his Son from the dead, God the Father was so pleased
and what it meant for us. We are hardly understanding as we live here in our mortal bodies
how much pleasure it brings to God and what it means we carry his name. Jeremiah 15:16. Finish the
verse, thy words were found, and I did eat them, and they were the joy and rejoicing of my
heart for I am called by your name O Lord God.
I am called by his name. I can hardly write it down. I am called by his name. What is his name? God. We shouldn’t even say those words. Has anyone turned the light on and understood what Christ has done for us. Look at Ephesians 1:21, far above. I wish I could take something and throw it very high. Far above. How far above? This is how far. Eight feet. Ten feet. How about 10,000 miles. How about 10 million miles. How far above
demons and lies. How far above? He has set Christ far above principalities and powers and
might. What kind of might?
Well the earth is 70 miles of atmosphere and then you get beyond
into outer space and go to the sun, stars, the solar system, constellations. Christ is far above in
geography; he is far above in any kind of power. He is far above any name that is named. Vs. 21.
What names? Julius Caesar. George Washington, Joan of Arc. Martin Luther. Albert Einstein,
William Shakespeare. What names? Company names. Microsoft, Toyota, Volvo, Mercedes.
All those names. What names? He is far above and beyond everything. Even
the word death and the word loneliness and emptiness and sin and pornography and child
abuse and murder and rape and bondages and prisons and demons. Far above unbelief and
fear. Far above everything that could be named. Far above every psychological disorder, every
opioid or fentanyl, – what name could there be that could be greater than this name. In this
world and the world to come.
What does it mean for me? It means a lot. We’ll try to explain it. It means a lot. Jesus was on the earth, but he went to heaven for us to give us a ministry, the throne ministry of Christ. A ministry from a throne that has all the authority and the power in heaven that ever could be and ever would be. This ministry of Christ. That’s a good word,
ministry of Christ. It’s from God to us. Sometimes it’s very gentle. I read a missionary story,
actually I can tell a personal story. I was in the mountains of central Asia. One man had driven
over 12 hours over mountain ranges to meet me.
He had in his pocket a folded up, or some papers folded up into a booklet. He said this is your message translated into Russian language and I read it in my village. I drove here to meet you. He gave me the title of it. One of our
Russian brothers had printed it and given it out. He said this message, this helps me, this spoke
to me. This spoke to my heart. It moved me to get into my car and drive here to tell you, to
One time P. Renaldo Brown was on a bus in Botswana and taking the bus to Zambia.
It was early morning and it left the bus station. The driver put in a cassette tape. P. Renaldo is on the bus and hears Dr. Stevens voice. It was Throne Words. Everybody on the bus was listening. He said it was dead silent for 40 minutes as this message was heard on the bus. And P. Renaldo was the only one on the bus who knew who the preacher was. Many of our people that have left here with their Bible in their hearts. Let’s make the three points today. Here’s Jesus’ earthly ministry. He goes to the cross, but he hardly started. He always had a ministry.
He was also in heaven with the Father, but when he came here, he wanted to show us something.
We could touch his kindness, his tenderness, his heart. We could listen to him. The Spirit was
using him. He was here to be a living, holy, acceptable sacrifice on our behalf. He ascended and he’s
there. This is his ministry to us as we are living here on the earth and we are believers and
through all of history, all over the world, there has been this ministry of the throne. What does
1) Jesus says here is Christ and we have this authority in heaven. He said he would
send us the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would come into you. I want you to be able to say in
your heart I know the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He ministers to me as an Advocate. We had
that message that he is the Advocate. He’s not just a hand holding comforter. He is the one that
gives you firm guidance. The one that teaches you with authority. The one that leads you in
godliness. He’s the advocate like a good coach that won the Superbowl.
Andy Reed or any of these good coaches. They have to have authority and if they have a player who is off, they have to talk to them and be their coach and counselor and advocate. Same with the Holy Spirit I need him
to each me. I am a fool and I need your wisdom. I can’t do it, but you can do it. You can fill me.
You can teach me to love. You can teach me truth and put it in my heart, so I love God and his
ways are better than the ways of the world. 400 false prophets, 400 false TV shows, 400
celebrities, 400 Hollywood actors, 400 professors. But I know that they are saying. Is there
another one? Speak to me from Christ.
2) He gives us words from the throne. Words from the Bible. Words of truth. Words of life. Words settled in heaven. Words that will never change. The words I hear today that billions of years from now God will be saying the same kind of words, same message. We get no credit for it. It’s Jesus ministry to us. This is not a
denomination. It could be but if it was, I want the throne ministry. If it’s non-denominational,
that’s fine. That’s not my point. Tradition and the church is precious, but I want it to be fresh.
When we have a water baptism which is a tradition of the church.
We hold two traditions:
water baptism and holy communion. But we also have the teaching of the Word of God. We
have evangelism and missions. These are the traditions of the church throughout history. How
can any of that happen without the throne ministry of Christ. If we don’t have the throne
ministry, we are just another group of people, human beings getting along or sentimental or
fighting or self-opinionated. Or quiet or withdrawn or negative without any gifts.
3) The body. The throne ministry is the ministry of the Body of Christ with the gifts in the Body. I want to
close our message from the book of Acts. Acts 6, I realize this story in this context last night and
it’s interesting how we get messages and think about these things. How the Spirit is faithful in
helping us understand our Bible. What I understood is Stephen was in a lot of trouble. He was
also gifted. Acts 6:10 Who was Stephen? A deacon.
He was not a pastor. He was a helper. Maybe you could say a Sunday school teacher, usher, brother in the church. A brother who was wise and Spirit-filled. He was a Christian in Jerusalem but, he was in a very difficult place here. He is resisted. He is hated and he’s going to be killed. He’s going to be martyred. Why would they martyr him?
The devil is a murderer. If Stephen has a gift and the Spirit is filling him and has wisdom and is calm and wise and effective and loving and ministering and influencing people, maybe he’s the guy we want to get rid of. They went to their evil work of slander. Vs. 12-13.
By the way, Franklin Graham who took over Billy Graham’s ministry has a preaching schedule in the U.K. this spring. They had it all set up but the LGBT folks in the U.K. shut him down. You are a bigot, right wing, religious nut, an evil man. You are against homosexuals and lesbians and so on. He sent out an email asking us to pray that God would turn it around. I want to say something to you because I don’t know all of you. I want to say something to you very personal and important. Be careful in the world that you live in, which side of history you are on. No, what side of eternity you are on. What kingdom you are on.
Will you also attack other brothers and sisters with the same mind that we are judgmental and bigoted and narrow minded, and we are against these people this way and that way. We are against sin. No doubt about it. We preach about it all the time. We love people and we are no different from others being sinners. When it comes to the kingdom of God and the Righteousness of God, we love Hebrews 1:8, we love righteousness. You will get killed if you love righteousness in this story. It relates to us too. Loving righteousness. What about adultery? It’s
sin too. You don’t love people? Yeah, we love people, but we love Righteousness.
Loving Righteousness and hating iniquity like Jesus Christ did and does. His ministry is not one of compromise. I met a neighbor in one neighborhood, and he said have you driven past the church with the one rainbow flag in front
of it, the Presbyterian church that now has a rainbow flag. I said I have. He said my kids used to
go to that church but now they don’t, and I won’t go there. People have no church to go to.
Where is the message? It has become politics, natural preference, human beings.
Look at our list. The ministry of the throne is the ministry of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. If the
Word of God could come alive to me, if the Bible could come alive in my spirit and I could feel
the authority of God. This happened to Stephen in the story. Vs. 13. Why did you have to get
false witnesses? Because we couldn’t find true witnesses. We had to catch him somehow. We
had to mislead people, deceive people to kill him. I thought he was a great guy? Yeah but we
can’t have him around. Wow. Vs. 13-14.
By the way, there is a measure of truth in that. Jesus would change the customs and he did. The temple wasn’t that important anymore. Moses was not the primary leader of our religion. Christ is. There is a change. The problem of it all is that they are using it to kill him. Vs. 15. Where did the angelic face come from? Where did it come
from? When he is sitting there, and he looks like an angel. Stephen, they are saying this and
this. Stephen, where did the angelic face come from? You know where. The throne ministry.
Jesus was with Stephen. What do you mean?
These people don’t mean much at all in the light of that throne. It’s all under his feet. Let them do their foolishness. Stephen will die but it says here his face was like an angel and when Stephen started to speak – if you take this afternoon and read Acts 7 you see his brilliant message as he historically covers the Jewish nation from the
beginning to the present. God is speaking by the words of the Bible. There is a man there
watching the whole thing happen and his name is Saul.
He later becomes known as Paul. We don’t have a record of it, but it may be this man who is looking like an angel and sounded so wise had a throne ministry in the presence of death and the devils in martyrdom. This man saw
later and becomes a believer and undoubtedly remembered Stephen and maybe even his
message. He knew later who Jesus Christ was. Don’t underestimate the value of your life. Whatever you do in the name of a disciple –
you bring a glass of water in the name of a disciple and you don’t
lose your reward. Whatever we do in word or deed we do to the glory of God. I hope there are
times in your life when you will shine like an angel. In your heart you will know this is a ministry
from God. This Body of Christ is an extension of God in a dark world. Here we are. Here we are.
The Body is the fullness of Christ in Ephesians 1:23. We are a mystery on the earth in the presence of
a lot of crazy things going on. Have you seen it?
Have you seen the murders in the news, the politics, the hatred, the division in the hearts of men. Have you seen a little boy in the school saying I’m a girl and the authorities in the school agreeing that his name is Mary now? Yeah. I
didn’t make that up. That’s real. Have our leaders lost their mind? Have they lost their common
sense? The public school system is a shame to what is righteousness and what is not. Don’t be
ridiculous with the world. Have something going on from the throne of God.
The throne of God will say no. We used to live in a communist country. I could ask the Hungarians when did you
realize the government was lying to you? When I was 16, 14, 12. I was a teenager. Do you ever know
someone is lying to you? Do you ever know that someone at the hair salon or the locker room
at college or the military barracks or a sports team somewhere that those guys that are talking
are talking garbage? Have you recognized what the world is saying is different from what the
throne of God is saying.
I am afraid many believers they sing a lot but how much do they understand. A lot of believers may read the Bible every once in a while. They read it like this. I’m in trouble. God help me. And it says Judas went out and hanged himself. I better get another one! Believers that read the Bible that way have not discovered the most amazing way
of growing in the faith. I need a pastor teacher. I need an open Bible. I need a prayer meeting. I
need my brothers and sisters loving me and I need the gifts of the Spirit operating in my life
through the Body of Christ.
Thank you, Body. Thank you, Jesus. Imagine that from this church in the last 50 years people have gone to these countries by grace and many times we didn’t know what we were doing. We found God with us. We take another step and God is with us and something happened. Someone would say thank you for coming. I would not have known about Jesus Christ unless you came. Thank you for praying for my mother. She got healed.
Thank you for the Bible college. I could raise my son. I learned something I could give my son or daughter.
Thank you for saying that was wrong. I didn’t know that was wrong until you said it was wrong.
I said amen in my heart and the Spirit of God filled me and I understood that is wrong and this is
right. That’s an amazing thing to see happen. Let’s walk in God’s will for us with a ministry that
comes not from our own hearts but from Jesus Christ through us in this world.
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.