People worship things, idols and they are deceived, living by lies that they cannot let go of. They bow down before these lies. Christ came from above. He transcends all things for He came to give us the Bread of life. By the Spirit and the sure Word, we can be carried along in the reality of God who is from eternity to eternity. John 6:33; Isaiah 44:16-20
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
11:00 AM on 1/3/2021
P. Schaller –
Blessed New Year to everybody here today. Praise the Lord! We had a New Year’s Eve service here December 31 st .
Was that the right day to have it? December 31 st last year! In the program we had that night we
had a video, The Year in Review. We wanted to play it again because maybe not everybody saw
it. It is posted and Anu did it and did such a good job with it. We want to review that this
morning. Then we have communion today. We have a song. We have offering song and then
we have our message. Pay attention to the screen (video). We have three portions of Scripture
to look at that will put the message together. The first portion is in John 6. This is only a kind of
brief look at John. 6 and the transcendence of Christ. I love the music we just sang the song and
the Body worshiping. We have the Spirit of Christ in us. We worship Jesus Christ as God. For
indeed he is God. We read it here in the Scripture so clearly. The world says He is not God, but
we say he is God. That’s our message today. We are starting the New Year 2021. Imagine. How
many more do we have?
Only limited because in time we have, we’ll see that in Isaiah 44. We
have a material world, but he transcends the material world and he also teaches us who he is,
so we worship God, not the creation but the Creator. Not the ways of the world, the mind of
the world and the Spirit of the world, but the Spirit of God teaches us who Christ is. Just to look
at a few verses. Vs. 33. If you look from vs. 33-51, you can see very clearly that Christ is saying
that he is actually transcending this world. Vs. 33. He compared himself with Moses’ bread
which was in the wilderness. What was that called in vs. 32? Moses’ bread was called manna. Is
it eternal? No. They ate it and it was gone. They ate it again and it was gone, and it stopped
coming but it was food for the body. It was over. He said but I am bread that comes down. They
ate it and they died. Isn’t that verse 32? I’m sorry.
I don’t want to get too involved in this text. I want to say simply he is, and you know this very well, but he is transcending the world. He came outside. He came from heaven. I love reading these verses that the Father sent me.
Nobody knows the Father but the Son, and nobody knows the Son but the Father. We read in
the Gospels looking unto the blessed hope and glorious appearing of the Great God Our Savior
Jesus Christ. We are looking for a change coming. A change. 2 Peter 3. We read about how the
world is going to be changed like a garment folded up. There will be a change in the cosmos and
the earth will be burned with fire and all the things that are in it. The satellites, iPhones,
internet, everything. Planes, wires, metals, gold, silver, people, buildings, airports. Everything. 2
Peter 3. This is not believed in the world that we are talking about. I want to describe to you the
world from Isaiah 44, but before we do, I want you to look at this chapter 6:35. How could this
be unless he is God? Vs. 36. All that the Father gives me. When did the Father give to the Son?
In eternity past. Tonight, maybe I’ll teach about the covenant in heaven that was before all
Covenant with Adam and Eve, covenant with Noah, covenant with Abraham but
there was an agreement in the Trinity in eternity where God agreed in himself and he decided
in himself to give us to the Son of God. We are elected. We are chosen. Wow! Romans 8:29-30,
Ephesians 1, 1 Peter 1:2 and many other verses. John. 17:4, What do you mean? The Father gave the
Son work to do. When did that happen? In eternity. The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Jesus said referring to eternity in vs. 5. Before the world was. Let’s draw our picture here. I
want to draw a box like this. Process. And just label it “process.” I’ll use Isaiah 44 to teach the principle. Life. Time, space. In the beginning. Animals. Birds. Plants. Trees. They live. They die,
reproduce, die. Others live. Die. It’s a process. You could say it goes like this. This is how we
know it. Does it change? Not much. Basically it is the same system. But before there was this
system, what was there? There was God.
He created it. Before it was ever made, he existed. Satisfied with himself. The Father loving the Son and the Son loving the Father. Having a plan that man would have eternal life, that man would be forgiven, that man his name would be put
in the book of life, that man would be saved. Individuals depending on what is in their heart.
This is the miracle of our lives is that God drew us to himself and we believed in Christ and we
are regenerated, born of God. Do you remember the Christmas, the angel said, and you shall
call his name Emmanuel, God with Us. There is a meaning to that. Not only is he present, but
this is more. God became one of us. God came into the human race as God and became man so
we could touch him, hear him, feel him, listen to him, watch him, hear his counsel, watch his
life, his love, his tenderness, his forgiveness, his anger in Mark 3. His determination, his focus,
his concentration, his mission. When we see Christ, we see God. This is our joy to see God.
Because in Isaiah 44, we see how most people live. I want you to turn there now with me for
this part of our message.
Isaiah 44:16-20. Now follow this with me. I’m going to draw a picture
in a minute. I’ll make it as simply as we can. It’s about a man making an idol, cutting down a
tree and carving it, working it and making it into something he can worship as a god. He makes
a god out of it. So it’s described here in this chapter. We’ll truncate it a little, cut it shorter. Vs.
16-17. Now, let’s draw the process here. We have a tree and we also have rain for the tree. The
Tree grows. He cuts it down. I’ll make a log here. This is what he does. This is how he thinks. I
cut the log in half. I will make a fire so I can be warm, and I can cook. I will cook with the log and
be warm by the fire and as he is satisfied, he looks over at the other part, the leftover, and he
says I can make a god. So he makes a god and then he worships the god. This is because he lives
in this box. This sounds primitive but the principle is constant, even though it’s written – Isaiah
is about the 8 th century B.C.
We are in the 21 st century A.D. It’s the same thing people do today.
They eat and drink and are satisfied and they look around and they worship what is left over.
They say that’s my god. How do you mean? Well, you know, the god that I have is like
something is here, present. It’s something I see, I handle, I control it. It’s useful. It maybe is
even beautiful. It may be nice but it’s not God because it’s from in the box. So the man living in
the box, the natural world of material world and laws and principles that are not changing, in
that world he is simply worshipping the creation and he’s deceived. He’s blind. He doesn’t know
God. You may call it Christian or whatever name you want to use but is it God? Is that log God?
Can that log move? Can that log do anything? Does that log have any power? Can it change my
life? Can it forgive me of my sin? Can it save me? What are some of these gods: sex , money,
power, school, education, knowledge. It’s just something devised from my own heart.
There is nothing there. It sounds, the story sounds ridiculous, but it is constantly going on in the hearts
of people because they don’t have anything more than what they see and feel. They feel good
about it. Let’s read the rest of it. vs. 18. Could I put in here this word “ignorance?” You could
use the word “stupidity.” You could use a lot of different words. Blindness. There is a blindness
there. That’s not God. That’s something from your own heart. That’s something you see in this world. That doesn’t move you. That can’t change you. That can’t save you. That’s not God. Can
your car or a movie or a celebrity or a pile of money change my life? Can it bring righteousness
into my heart? Can it fill me with the Spirit? I have my windsurf sail over there for an
illustration. That’s the third part of the message. I think we will get there in a minute, but I got
to make this point again and again. We’re not done with it. vs. 18. What do you mean? They are
evolutionists. They are people like Carl Sagan, an astrophysicist that said that matter is eternal.
He has been proved wrong. That was in 1997 or 1996 when he said it in his program. And he
believed it and taught it as a professor at Cornell but it’s not true.
Matter is not eternal, but he said it is. By the way, when things are said inside the box here whether it is in the ancient world or modern world, many times no matter how much evidence you have contrary, they continue
in the lie. This man that is doing this in his worship of an idol is blind and deceived. He is
ignorant and does not understand. What is it he does not understand? What is it he does not
understand? He doesn’t understand life. Because life is more than that box. Jesus said I am he
that came down from – you are from below. I am from above. I know my Father. My Father
sent me. If you know me, you will know the Father. Who is the Father but the God that
transcends the world that we are living in. Who is the Father? He sent the Holy Spirit to show us
who the Son of God is, and the Son of God in John. 17 has shown us the Father. We are
worshipers of God in truth and in Spirit. We are privileged. What do we say in the box?
This is what we say. We say there is a tree and there is rain and it is growing. What do we say when we
see it? We say like this, we say where did the rain come from? Where does the rain come from?
Where did the tree come from? We say where did the earth come from? Where did the sun
come from? How come the earth is in a perfect place from the sun so that life can be on the
earth? Why are there breathing things? Why does the tree grow? That’s what we think but the
guy in the box doesn’t say that. He doesn’t think like that. He doesn’t. He’s blind. Look at the
next verse. Vs. 18b. Didn’t that happen to Jesus Christ when he came, that the Jews who were
worshipers of God and believers in the Scripture, that the Jews didn’t know him, didn’t believe
in him, didn’t understand him in John. 7 and John. 8. Could blindness happen to a Jew? It did. Their
eyes were blind. They could not see the Scripture. They could not understand him.
They did not receive him. Could that happen to a Christian? 2 Cor. 3. Absolutely. We can also be blind in our
pride and blind like it says in Revelation 2:23. I know the hearts. I test the heart. 1 Thessalonians 2:4, Proverbs
17:2. The gold is for the furnace and the crucible for silver and the Lord is the one that tests the
hearts of men. He tests our hearts. To be honest, it’s easy not to ask the question, where did
the tree come from? Just cut down the tree and make a fire and bake some cookies and kick
back and enjoy and whatever is left over we can make a god. Do you want to worship god? We
can worship a god. That’s no problem. Religion is filled, the earth is filled with religion. You have
need to worship god, then we can do that. But the world says you better not find God. If you
find God, we’ve got a problem. If you find God, if you testify of God, if you have the Spirit of
God, if you preach the truth of God, if God changes hearts, if God saves souls, if God visits the
hearts of men, if God transformed our mind so we can say I see. I see. I see love. I see truth. I
see the purpose of life. I see what this is about. We see God. Go to the next vs. 19. What does it
he doesn’t consider?
Two things in our diagram. He doesn’t consider the origin. He just starts here. Day one is here. The tree and cutting it down. He doesn’t go back. We should be asking so many questions about the origin and then coming up with the answer. For by faith we know that the worlds were framed by the Word of God. That’s the answer. By faith we are
worshipers of God. We are speechless. We are before a living, holy, Almighty God, the Creator
that made the universe and sent his Son to save us. We are speechless. We are touched by it.
We are in awe by it. Our understanding is enlightened, and we realize that we are worshiping
God and God Almighty and the Spirit of God is dwelling in us. We have something going on in
our life that the world does not have. The second thing they don’t ask – they don’t ask the
origin and they don’t know this one – where is it going? What do they say in the world? 2 Peter 3
they say it will always continue. It will always be this way. There will be another tree. There will
be another birthday party. There will be another day. The earth will go around the sun again
and again and again and it will continue always from the beginning. But when we read our
Bible, our God is telling us, no. It is not.
There is a radical change that is coming. A glorious appearing of Jesus Christ. Listen to words of Jesus in Mt. 26. Are you the Christ? Tell us plainly. He said, I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power and coming in the clouds. Revelation 1:7, every eye will see him, even those that pierced him will see him. What will
happen when he returns? Righteousness, judgment. Righteousness. I am seeing in our world an
uptick of unrighteousness on many levels. We see it in public schools with the curricula for
children in the area of sexual identity. The curricula. If you have a child that is in the public
school, check out the curricula. It’s insane. Children confused about sex. What? Yes. People
telling and pushing and yelling and shouting. No room for discussion, not even for science. With
these transgender mutilations that are going on in surgery. Can you imagine how sick the world
is? Unrighteousness. Lying. Deceit and in the television the fornication in movies and all that is
happening on many levels. Where is the science? Where is the voice?
They are very proud about science. Well then let’s live and be objective about it. let’s talk about it and the numbers
and data and the increase in suicide with people that go through those operations. It’s
evidence. It’s clear. They have a narrative. The narrative that they are following. The world that
they are living in is in this box, and they think it will always go and man is evolving. That means
in their mind there is improvement. Improvement. I mean obviously look at our iPhone.
Improving. Knowledge on the increase and society and the whole – you are no different from
the guy that cuts down the tree and makes a god and sits down. God says you are blind, and
you don’t understand . You don’t have a clue where this is going. This is not good. You have a lie
in your right hand, and you don’t know it. vs. 19-20. Imagine. I think we should be careful what
you fall down to. Do you fall down to your television? Do you fall down to the bad habits? Do
you fall down to sex? Do you fall down to a stock of a tree?
Do you fall down to the creation and not fall down before the Creator? I cannot fall down before the Creator without the
Creator saving me, without the Creator coming into my heart. I would not be doing it as a way
of life unless the Creator sent the Holy Spirit into me and open my eyes and said I am more
than my television. I am more than my physical body. I am more than relationships. I am more
than my money and my future. It’s going to pass away anyway. It’s going. The box there is going
to go. It’s over. The minute you breathe your last, you are gone. You are out of your body. It’s
over and it’s gone, and the stock of a tree cannot help you. The stock of a tree cannot save you.
The stock of a tree cannot talk to you. The stock of a tree cannot change your life. The stock of a
tree cannot educate you and cannot change your heart and put forgiveness and love in your
heart. The stock of a tree will make you like the stock of a tree. You will be frozen like it. You
won’t talk. You won’t love. You won’t move. You’re like the stock of a tree. Vs. 20. Anyone have
a fire place and it’s filled with ashes? I do. I have a fire place. And there’s ashes. My wife said,
can you clean out the fire place? I said, God will do it! God will clean it out! Well, I think God is
going to use you so go get it done! No, she’s much kinder than that. Vs. 20. There are people
that are living in this box and that is what they are feeding on. Are you feeding on the Lamb of
God? Are you feeding on Christ? Are you feeding on the fellowship of God? Are you feeding on
truth? Do you have Christ in your heart? Does he mean anything to you? I used to live in
Hungary. We’d have a guy come in with his girlfriend.
They would be living together, which is so common. Of course. You know. Then the conviction would come. It’s either him and this church or him and his girlfriend. Many times the guy would choose his girlfriend. I’m living with my
girlfriend. I’m not coming here anymore. I’m not coming here anymore and that’s how it goes.
What is the point? You are welcome. Everybody is welcome but hopefully you will find
something more than your girlfriend. Hopefully you’ll find more than what is in the box.
Hopefully you will find the reality of the living God that fills your heart with righteousness. I met
over here in the church here at the door in the inside this brother said to me, would you marry
my girlfriend and I? I said, sure. What is the story? We have been living four years together and
God has put it on my heart I should get married to her. I said, why are you doing that? He said
God is speaking to my heart. God is talking to me. I want to get that right. I want to do the right
thing. I want God to bless me. And that is a beautiful story.
You can put it many ways and many different things that we have challenges with in our hearts, but without it, you feed on ashes. You feed on ashes. It’s that amazing. It says in the Bible that the devil was cursed, and he went
down on his belly, and what does he feed on? The dust. It’s very similar to ashes. The devil
feeds on the dust and people feed on ashes. I don’t want to use a four letter word for what that
is because I’ve used enough of them recently! Garbage is a good word. They feed on this
emptiness. Why could Paul preach such a message in a pagan world? Because the pagan world
is empty. Believe me. Have you seen it in our country? It’s empty. Do you think there will be
fighting and bickering in our country? Do you think there will be people that are afraid? Do you
think people will become cold? It says the love of many will wax cold. Why? Because paganism
does it. Modern day paganism. Neo-paganism. Idolatry of the heart.
Yes, they worship but they don’t know what. Yes, they worship something but it’s nothing. It’s ashes. It’s a stock of a tree. But Christ came and to worship Christ it elevates the heart and the mind. I read a scientific
study on pornography and the study showed that men lose their creativity and their energy,
their creative energy and their leadership through pornography. Isn’t that amazing. They lose
something. Men and women are made not in the box. We are made to worship the living God
who put us here in the box, but the box isn’t enough for you and me. We‘ve got to have God in
our lives. Vs. 20. I had a very good illustration on that once, but I can’t remember it right now. I
have in my right hand a lie. This is hurting me. this lie hurts me, but I don’t know it. Maybe something in my right hand, a poison of some kind. I am carrying the poison around in my right
hand, but I don’t know that. Maybe it’s radiation or something there.
This radioactive thing I am carrying around with me is a lie, but I don’t know it. it’s killing me. Didn’t Madame Currie who
did the discovery of x-ray die from using her scientific experiments? The radiation – I don’t
know if she realized what she knew but she died from the radiation. Maybe she knew she
would. I don’t know. But there are people who are carrying around lies and they don’t know
what it is doing to them. They don’t know that the pornography is poison. I’m living in it. I’m
addicted to it. I go day after day. I feed on it. Is our country feeding on pornography? Yeah. It’s
a lie in their right hand and they don’t know it. They got it right there in their pocket and it’s
killing them. It’s killing them. I don’t know it. You know why you don’t know it? You don’t know
what God has for you. You don’t know how God will clean you up, how God will speak to you.
How God will help you. You got to start asking questions about where did all of this come from?
Why am I the way I am? God made me.
I need God. I ask the question about the future. Where is it all going? What is going to happen? There is going to be an end. How about some people are shocked when somebody dies. Really? One man was weeping and angry with God that his father died. I said how old was your father? He said 93. You didn’t know he would die? I don’t
know were people are living but it’s a cold, hard oftentimes very selfish and very ignorant and
blind world. I don’t care how many iPhones you have, you can be very, very stupid. I don’t care
what you know or how many degrees you have from schools. I don’t know who you are or what
you have but if you don’t have God, you don’t have what you really need. That’s the way it is.
Okay. So we are a little late but one minute with the windsurf sail. This was New Year’s Eve. I’m
trying to get people, recruit people to go windsurfing so I brought the sail in. Sailing is wind
pulling the sail or pushing, driving the sail or drawing the sail. I like to think because you have
God in your life, the wind you have is the Spirit of God. How you relate to God in your life
affects your life.
The sailing is just a physical illustration of how you can actually walk in the
Spirit and you are borne along by the Spirit, 2 Peter 1:21. Holy men of God spoke – the prophets
were holy men of God spoke as they were borne along by the Spirit of God. You have a surf
board and the bottom of it goes into the base of the surfboard. The sail is like this. The wind is
at your back or wherever the wind is coming from. Let’s say it is behind me. And then you get
the angle and it pulls you. You lean back. It depends on the strength, the speed of the wind and
you go. You can feel it. it’s such an awesome thing. It pulls you. You can get way back on the
end of the board. It depends on the speed of, the size of the sail this is a small one. This is small.
They can be very big and take you, really. It’s fun. I want to say as a Christian and this is to
everybody, sailing or not. That’s not the point but the point is that you and I have a relationship
not with the stock of a tree. That will do nothing.
You are dead in the water. Nothing happening. Nothing going on but with a living God and when that wind is in your face like on your left cheek and you are on this side and the wind is coming this way, and you can hit the
angle and lean back and go and you take it and you go, wow! That is amazing. If you and I can
live like this. Sometimes it is a gentle breeze. Sometimes you hardly move. But as you sail, you
kind of realize – in your life you are not like the world that is dead and caught and trapped in
their stuff. You are able to move with God. God leads you. God is with you. God moves you in your prayer. God moves you in your faith. And you come to the church. I have to make a
confession. I would not be the kind of believer that would go to church cause of my
temperament as a young man. But I read in my Bible and was told by my pastor I need to be in
the church. I started to go, I started to go, and then I started to hear.
When I started to hear, I could feel that. I could see the value of it. I actually believed and then we become something
other than the stock of a tree. We become something more. We have a message. We have salt
and light. We have something to say. We have a new life. That’s what God gave you, each one
of you. God gave it to you. You have it. That’s it. Amen.
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.