Powers that are over are not always right. We obey God first. We stand with His Word. We have treasure in the darkness. We do not have to fall into traps that would ensnare us. (Luke 21:34-36; Romans 13:1-4)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller, Pastor Roger Robbins
6:30 PM on 8/9/2020
P. Schaller –
Turn with me just for a minute. Proverbs 27:16, I was driving through the neighborhood, and you know what I
smelled? Barbecue. Then it was gone. I turned my car around, where is the barbecue? Where’s
the barbecue? The power of smell speaks to us about something spiritual. When you smell
something, it isn’t necessarily a powerful thing. It can be like perfume. Is anyone wearing any
perfume tonight? You want to raise you hand? A couple of them. People sitting next to you, do
they bear witness that you are? I feel that way about our week. I feel something happened this
week and I cannot necessarily put my finger on it, but I smelled it. I saw it. I heard it. I believed
it. I understand it. It’s so beautiful.
When Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River, guess what happened to him right after? Anyone here ever read your Bible! There was a fight that happened. You know why? The devil smelled something. He saw something. He realized this man. He knew him all through his life but when he did nothing but when he started, when he
was water baptized and the Holy Spirit came down like a dove, the battle started. Satan went
after him. I kind of think that about our lives. When God is with you and when God is speaking
to you and you are moving and living in your faith, there is a fragrance, 2 Corinthians 2. We have a
fragrance of victory. We have a fragrance of Christ in our life. Guess who recognizes it? Psalm
37 angels encamp around about those who fear God.
I think the angels recognize. Wow! That woman, that man, that teenager, that elderly person, I recognize. I discern. I see. We also know the enemy is also aware. The Bible says Job said in the Bible in the book of Job that Satan has
narrowly targeted me. He has set me up as a target. He narrowly looks upon me. The arrows of
the Almighty have poisoned my spirit, Job said. Very amazing. I am very thankful that I am with
a group of people that are serious about this. Serious about God, serious about the faith,
serious about the truth. We kind of can smell the barbecue. Who’s cooking? That smells really
good. It smells really good. I can’t see it, but I know what it is. I know what it is when I hear it. I
know what it is when I see it. I know what it is. This is our blessing as born-again believers. We
are not easily deceived, easily misled, easily taken away.
God is giving us our bottom-line orientation because we have the Spirit of God and are walking in him. It is exciting. We had a great week. I heard a lot of great things. I saw a lot of great things. Very encouraging. We pray
for our sisters and brothers that were not able to come. God is in all of it. God is in it. God is
working and we are anticipating our future, our walk with him because this barbecue is not
over. It’s not over. Amen! This is not ending.
P. Roger Robbins –
It’s been an amazing week. Can you hold the microphone right? Can you
open communion? That can be a challenge. Can you sing a song! So thankful to be here, my
wife and I. We love the church. It’s a treasure. It’s so amazing. I have one thing to say about all
of these messages this week. They were handcrafted for us, very, like an architect who knew
exactly what was needed gave it to us by our pastor and those who spoke. And I think that’s
how it is in the church. This church and other churches but this church got a handcrafted
message, and so did the one in Baku, and so did the one in Cyprus. You know what I mean. It’s
maybe their message wasn’t the same but here for us handcrafted. It’s amazing. I have two
things basically to share. One is about treasure and the other is about traps. Think about it for a minute. Turn with me to Luke 21:34-36. Isn’t that amazing.
There is a snare, a trap and it will come not just in places but on all of the earth. I wonder what the disciples were thinking. Is this going on in their day or 2020 in our day this snare, this trap. Jesus is speaking. He says take
heed to yourselves. I never bring a cell phone to the pulpit. Now I regret it. I was going to read
what happens when a car battery is overcharged. The opening statement I read from a car
specialist was that it leads to the death of the battery. It causes complications to the whole
system of the car. It has the possibility of overheating and then it swells and has the ability to
release gas at the slightest spark. I think it’s a picture of what can happen today if our minds are
not on the word of God.
The media is powerful. It’s like that spark that needs this energy that can build up in the soul to the extent that the slightest thing can ignite it and before you know it, you are reacting in the emotions and not thinking with God. It says here, watch. Vs. 36. Pray always. That’s been a characteristic of this week and this time. There has been lots of prayer. Lots of prayer meetings. Lots of opportunities to be together and to pray. Watching. What does
this mean, watch? One of the meanings is to put your schedule in favor of God. Present your
body, your face. Face to face. A living sacrifice. Come together. Be encouraged. Be built up. Be
watchful. Have a renewed mind. There is a trap in listening to many voices. It’s a snare. And
through the years I was thinking of what has brought us to this place where we are still
standing, we are still together, and we are still going forward in the church here that’s not been
defeated because Jesus Christ knows how to build his church and take care of his church.
There are many ways to build a church but only one right way and that’s him. He can build his church
and his words keep us. His words when he speaks to us is life. I was thinking about this in Proverbs
21 and an illustration that P. Schaller gave really spoke during a time under the tent. Proverbs
21:20. It says there is a treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise, but the foolish
man spends it up. P. Schaller was telling this story about someone that found a nugget of gold.
It was the biggest nugget of gold ever discovered. And the nugget, if I remember right, was
around four feet wide and two feet this way weighing hundreds of pounds? A hundred and
something pounds? I’ve had dreams about finding gold. It’s so true.
I had this dream that happened many times in my early days. I’m out there by this river and I’m throwing rocks and
flipping them over. I’m in the wilderness and all of a sudden there is that one that has that
little, yellow tinge. That’s it! That’s the gold! Wouldn’t that be amazing. I love stories about
finding gold. You know what? I found gold. God brought me to a place where I heard a voice
one day on Telephone Time. It was the beginning of discovering gold. I had a friend at a paper
company that I worked for. I was sitting on a bench. I had a beer in my hand, at work, long hair
down to here, and he sat next to me and invited me to church. I came to church. I heard the
message and I found gold. I found the treasure.
The dream really did come true. It didn’t come true in the way you might think about it. It came true in a much greater way. Back to the illustration of the guy that found this nugget of gold. It’s interesting the story as I heard it. He
sold it for $20,000. Twenty-thousand dollars? For something this big, this heavy that just a
matter of ounces would have made the $20,000. Hello? How valuable really was it? You mean
there was no recognizing how precious and how valuable? And I thought I remember going to Bible school. I sat in some seats like you are sitting in. I said, I found more gold. I’m in a class.
This is a treasure. Listen to these words. These words are leaping off the pages and going into
my heart. I am gaining in treasure through the Body, through the hearing of the Word. Simple
foundation: church, pastor teacher.
Do you have a church that you call church and a pastor? You’d be surprised how many skip that and they are going through different avenues, but I found treasure. I found, it’s like you couldn’t sell it. Like Proverbs 23:23 says, “buy the truth and sell it not.” You can’t sell this. We are just beginning to recognize the value of what God has given
us. You go to a place like Istanbul, Turkey and you talk to somebody and the most simplest of
conversation is like treasure. I was on Face Time with my translator and a young lady, a Turkish
lady that wanted to speak with me that came to church this week. We have been praying for
her. I said to her, “so how was church this morning?” After we talked about other things. All of
a sudden she got kind of quiet and she said, “I haven’t changed yet.”
She wanted me to know I haven’t changed yet. You don’t know what that means. I can tell you a little bit of what that
means. She means she hasn’t changed from what she believes to what we believe. There is a
cost for that. There is a price to be paid. There is a persuasion that has to come from the Holy
Spirit. I said it’s okay. I said, “have you ever noticed that you can’t change yourself?” She said,
“that’s true.” I said, “have you ever noticed that only God can make a change?” She said, “that’s
true.” I said like five other things and she’s going, “that’s true. That’s true.” You could see on
her face she was getting encouraged. She said, “when are you coming back to Turkey? I want to
meet you.” I said, “we are praying and three weeks we should be there.” She’s a treasure. Can
you see it? Can you value it? What is the value of one soul?
There is no price tag. One soul, one young lady. And I left her with this thought. I said, “can you do this?” It’s such a beautiful story because she’s with my translator and I’m very happy about that. There is a ministry there. I
said, “start talking to God.” Because in the Muslim mind, you don’t talk to God. They don’t have
relationship. I said you know what is important in life is that you have a relationship where you
talk. She’s sitting next to him and her face is turning a little red. She’s like, “yeah, that’s true.” I
said, “it’s that way with God. God will speak to you, and you can speak to him.” It can happen.
It’ so real. It’s so true. Those have been words that have been said many times in Turkey. I’m
amazed. I’m astounded that we have been given so much. This treasure in the dwelling of the
wise and the oil of the Holy Spirit is in us.
We recognize it. We say $20,000, $20 million dollars is not enough. It’s not to be sold. It’s too valuable. We are getting introduced to things that have meaning and life and we’re learning and getting hand-crafted messages from our pastor. Wow! We’re prepared for heaven. Wow! We are the bride of Jesus Christ. Wow! He is going to
present his bride how? Beautiful, spotless, without wrinkle, without blemish, without sin. He is
going to joy over his people. It’s amazing that we can even be a part of this treasure. To have
the value of what we received. Get this one: identity in Christ. Is that a treasure? Have you ever
been harassed in your soul about your identity and then you come to church and find out that
God has thoughts towards you, that God has placed you, has brought you into the new creation
and what that means? That you have not only been washed clean, but you have an identity in
Jesus Christ. It is enormous what has been poured out upon us.
There is a treasure. I’ll close with this verse. I gave this verse at my wedding. P. Schaller did communion with my wife and I on that day. I had faced many trials and different kinds of troubles in my journey of faith like we
all have. God brings us into times of afflictions. He tests us. He says to the Laodicean church,
you think you’re rich but you’re not. I counsel you to buy gold tried in the fire. God wants us to
have treasure and I was thinking of this. After going through many things and finished Bible
school and I thought at one point in my life it can’t get much – other issues can’t get much
worse. It doesn’t seem to fit the program of Bible school and God and everything being
amazing. All of a sudden the details of life are far from amazing. There was a season of
difficulties. You know what? God placed people in my life.
Pastor Palmer would be in the back of this building and he would pray with me. Then Pastor Hadley would come, and he would pray with me. P. Schaller would call from the mission field. I answer the phone. “Hello. This is Pastor
Schaller.” What? Where are you? “I’m in Finland. I was just thinking of you. You’re amazing.”
Wow! This is treasure. It’s unspeakable. Here’s the verse. Get this. This is really good. Psalm 55:18,
There are people that stand with us in the church. There are people, the Body, that’s what the
Body is for. People that will stand with you during those times. I remember days just barely able
to walk in and somebody would come up and pray or say a word and it was enough. Those
words were like treasure. My soul was delivered from the battle that was against me over and
over again. How Satan hates us to experience this treasure. He wants us to be overcharged with
the things of this world, the media and all the stuff that is out there can build up in your soul to
the point where you don’t hear those voices anymore from heaven.
The Holy Spirit’s voice is just so hindered. Then we come here, and we are so encouraged. God has filled us with so
much. There’s a lot of people in Turkey, 60 million plus. More than 20 million in one city. They
know nothing of this treasure, not even the treasure to be able to talk to God and hear from
him. What a treasure! And we are not even in heaven yet. We’ve been given all this. It’s so
special. It’s so beautiful. I’m so thankful for what God has done. He gave us Dr. Stevens. And
then Dr. Stevens went home. He gave us P. Schaller. P. Schaller is our covering. He is a treasure
to the Body. The Bible says the pastor is a gift to the Body of Christ. What a gift! What a
treasure! And he’s receiving hand-crafted messages for the very hour and the very moment.
P. Schaller –
Wasn’t that a good word. You want to talk about it for a minute? We don’t have a
special song. I’m going to share something. I’m going to do that, but I don’t want to do it right
now. I got an attitude! Are you ready to roll? How about – that message was amazing. That was
it. That’s it. That’s amazing. You are dismissed! It was good, wasn’t it? It was amazing. Thank
you, pastor. Excellent. 1 Corinthians 3, would you like to stand? P. Harry good to see you and Pat.
Amazing. How about a prayer with your neighbor? Stand and have a prayer with your neighbor
for a moment. Maybe there’s something in your heart to pray for. I think to say a couple
different things tonight just as a ministry. I want to say how much I appreciate the Body
through the week and what I see going on in the Spirit with people.
P. Roger mentioned the woman in Turkey who is receiving a ministry. If you receive a ministry, then your life changes. Your life changes little by little. By the way, I know that people are online watching and I appreciate every listener and attitude of faith, but I also know from experience it’s not the
same. I’m easily distracted at home. I take trips to the refrigerator. I’m multitasking. But when
I’m here, there is great concentration and set this apart and it's a blessing. The first thing I want
to say has to do with John MacArthur in California and his church services with an auditorium I
think of 3500 people packed out when the state of California says you can’t do that. You can’t
have church services. But he has two of them 6 or 7,000 people come. He’s actually disobeying
the authorities. It will be so profound we won’t get to the other part of the message.
Romans 13, John MacArthur is an evangelical man of God, determined and focused in his ministry of the
Word. I’m not parsing words or principles. It’s not my point. I believe he’s doing the right thing.
I want to explain to you why. Romans 13:1, we have a person, a citizen or group of them. We have
God and we are to obey God, Acts 4:29. Is it better for us to obey God or man? But in our
government in our society we have earthly government and we are to be obedient to them,
subject to them. It says that in Romans 13:1. These are earthly powers, president, governor,
mayor, etc. That is generally how we think as believers that the authorities in power are there
for our protection, our security, our wellbeing. They are to be good.
The power is to be good. That’s the principle. But in history, we know the powers are not always good. Communism is one example though I do think they could be good in one way in some measure, but their
ideology is wrong, atheist materialism. But many Christians live in Communist countries. Many
Christians live in Hindu and Buddhist countries and countries that embrace different ideologies
from us. Are we to be obedient to them? As much as we possibly can be. Yes. As much as we
can be. Are they good? We hope so but they may not be. Vs. 2. The Roman Empire – Paul is
living in the context of a caesar, a ruler, a magistrate, governors. Pontius Pilate was the one
overseeing the crucifixion of Christ, a good example. We are subject to them. We are subject to
those powers. We don’t have a spirit of rebellion.
We don’t have a spirit of hatred. We don’t have a spirit of anarchy. We have a spirit of God. We look for obeying. We look for the authority to be obedient to and subject to. When you are subject to God, he fills you with the Spirit and
now you have a ministry. You have a ministry because you have love, because you have faith,
because you build, because you minister. This is good. This is why many times in these
countries they do not shut down the Christians because Christians are good citizens. They are
people that pray for the government. They are people that are obedient. They are people that
pay their taxes. Do you know that Saddam Hussein in Iraq as a dictator his body guards were
Christians because he didn’t trust the Muslims? Well, maybe he overrated us. It is true, we have
a good reputation and a good history of this.
Let’s go into this subject a little bit more. Vs. 2. That’s like an earthy judgment for our rebellion. You may end up in jail or prison for resisting the authorities. That could happen. Vs. 3. Rulers are not a terror to good works. I wish we could spend time on that text. Rulers are not a terror to good works and I’ll add, good people. Rulers
should like good people and good works. What are good works? YMCA, faith works, food banks,
soup kitchens, churches, schools. These are good works. Rulers are to recognize the good works
in our society, and they are not a terror to the good works. What if the government is a terror
to the good works? Were the Nazis in Germany a terror to good works? They were. They were a
terror. They were not a good government. They were an evil government. They were proud, racist, bigots, narrow minded, killers. They would send the Gestapo.
Pastors were arrested in the night and murdered in the morning. Jews by the millions as we know. They were a terror to a good people. That government was a terror to good people. It’s happened with Communist revolutions that people that are in authority are also people that could hurt good people. If they hurt good people, there is something not right. It’s not correct. It happened in the book of Acts in chapter 4 with Peter. He said to the authorities, they said stop talking about Jesus. Stop preaching about Jesus. Stop it. Peter basically – we could read it. Whether we should obey God or man, you judge. You judge meaning we are not rebellious, but we cannot obey you if you contradict God. If this government is contradicting God in essence and I am subject to this
government, then I will have to agree with God and disobey them.
That’s called in our terminology civil disobedience. We will not obey. Will we be humble? Yes. Will we ask God to help us? Yes, but maybe we will not obey. This is something for you to digest. You have some months maybe years to digest it, but it may be knocking on our door someday. Actually it already is here but we are treated fairly in my opinion. We are meeting because we are Christians. We are meeting because we believe. We are meeting because we have this in our tradition. This is our habit. This is our form of worship. We are worshiping God. Remember
when Pharaoh said to the Jews what are doing talking about going out and worshiping God? I
know not God in Exodus 5:2. For your way of thinking, you’ll have to work harder. You know the
story. The god of this world is against the church.
This government which we are praying for and respecting and also do evil things. Want some examples? Black Lives Matter. Why don’t we add a word, black babies lives matter. Black babies lives matter. Yes. Everybody. Yes. I’m to trying to push any buttons here in terms of provoking a political discussion or provoking any reaction emotionally. Pastor Roger said something great. There is a time we could be overcharged in our emotions and talking and thinking and almost get to the point of exploding. By God’s grace, we have found another way. I do say this because civil disobedience is being practiced by John MacArthur who is an 81-year-old pastor in California who is very effective in his ministry with touching the lives of people and they are meeting without masks. They are
meeting. He speaks straight up about it.
That’s how they are functioning. The governor says, no, you can’t. And he says, we are. If it came to him being arrested, or fined, I guess the fine could be $1000 a day for every day you are disobeying that ordinance. That’s a lot of money and then the pastor being in jail. What? What? Where are we? What is going on? I’m just dramatizing it a
little bit maybe but having fun doing it. Let’s finish the text. Vs. 3. It would be great if the
government would praise us for our good works. If the authorities would say thank you for the
church. Thank you for being on the street. Thank you for helping the kids get off of drugs. Thank
you for your recovery program. Thank you for your efforts. Please bring Jesus everywhere you
can. That would be great to hear. We don’t have to have it to do what we do because we do
what we do because Jesus said to do it. But at the same time, it would be nice if it wasn’t
resisted. And it isn’t. It isn’t resisted tonight.
Tonight it isn’t. I hope it never will be but what is going on out there in that world out there? What is going on? How will the church manage in this time? How will we navigate? Wait a minute. Pastor, are churches closed? Yeah, five
months, six months churches are closed. How many years will that go on for or months? What will happen? What is going on? What about the people and the message and the purpose? No, we got a pandemic going on. I’m not denying it but the possibility of dying from it is .1%. And it’s going down all the time. That’s all. Vs. 4. There’s the key. If the government is the ministry of God for good. What if the government told me to kill a household of Jewish people. Is that ministry of good? Not only is it out of order but coming from an ideology that is twisted and
wrong and evil, are you going to obey? Are you gong to obey? I must obey God than man. Are
you going to become part of the whole thing that goes in a direction and wake up one day and
say, what happened? It can’t happen.
You got to be an individual. Remember individuality in American society. Remember your own decision? Remember the word “conscience.” Remember what it meant loyalty, trust, goodness, honesty , transparency. How about the word tolerance? Remember that word tolerance? Like differences of opinions and ideas. Wow. What
is going on? We are the church that cannot be defeated though we’re not quite perfect yet.
That’s it. That’s amazing. When we have a treasure – I want to make a little correction on that.
The nugget was two feet by, a 150 pounds but I think there was a bigger one found. It was
worth $2 or $3 million dollars and they sold it in today’s currency – my son Kyle and I looked at
it and talked about it. They sold it way under the price. They sold it for $9000 and something. P.
Roger’s point was when you find gold, you should know what you found.
When you found Christ, you should know what you found. When you found a fellowship in Christ, you should
know and recognize what it means. When you find truth in your heart, you find that freedom,
you smell the barbecue, where is that? Which neighbor? I’m going to go back and park my car
and smell it and drive away. It is so good. I remember what it was. I know what it is and that’s
the way we are living our life. That’s why it’s hard to cancel a Convention. It will just bounce
back, and we have our fellowship, we have our Convention. That’s the idea. Vs. 4. Do you know
who practiced civil disobedience? Martin Luther King Jr. He said to the marchers – by the way,
you could not get into his group at that time when they were marching down south in Alabama
and Birmingham and those areas unless you were making a pledge that you will not react.
When you get punched in the face, you cannot punch back.
If you get bit by a dog, you got to bear it. If you go to jail, you just have to take it. You cannot curse or swear. You have to be a Christian when you disobey. That was his rules. That’s not the rules of the game today out on
the street. That’s not what they are teaching in these movements and this anarchy and
everything out there. It is evil. It is not of God. Martin Luther King Jr. who made an effort to
make a statement and he did a great job in many ways; it’s called civil disobedience and it’s in
your Bible. It’s part of our life and way of thinking. It might happen. Don’t get angry with us,
each other about it. Let just get deep with God and realize I might find myself in some trouble
some day and say this is where I stand. History is changed by these kinds of people. Simple
common people. Remember Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad up in my part of
the, up in New York state.
This little woman that was a slave. She was a feisty fireball. She got
black slaves out of the south in the underground railroad. These kinds of people make a
difference because they got something going on in the Holy Spirit. You cannot walk on me. I got
to walk before God. Jesus was crucified. He was submitted because he was crucified because it
was the Father’s will. He was obeying the Father. Was he obeying Pontius Pilate? He was subject to Pontius Pilate because it was the Father’s will. But there was also a time when he just
walked through the crowd because it wasn’t the right time. I’m just saying I’m excited. I’m
optimistic. I’m believing. I don’t know where the churches are going to be when they are shut
down for five and six months and when one day the government says you cannot meet because
you don’t believe in gay marriage or this or that or because your school and all of these kinds of
I’m not being specific. I’m just saying I don’t worry about it. But I believe it might be one
day we are in trouble and we got to know in our hearts and stand in what we believe. That’s the
way it will be. It might be and that’s okay because it’s so good when you found that nugget and
know what it’s worth. You just say in your heart this is worth a lot to me. The trial of our faith is
more precious than gold that perishes. We have found it and we build on the foundation with
gold and silver and precious – I want to quote that from P. Bruce Moon. P. Bruce Moon said
there is gold, silver and precious jewels, 1 Corinthians 3 and then wood, hay and stubble. He said
wood, hay, and stubble is all on top of the ground, but gold, silver and precious stones are
down, and you have to dig. When you are going to build something that is going to stand, you
can’t use the stuff on the surface.
You got to dig. You got to go down and try to find it. It’s going to cost you something. Some broken finger nails, some broken shovel, some sweat in the brow, some work, some pain. You’ll dig and get good stuff to build. If you take the cheap stuff, the stuff you buy at Walmart and Target. You build with your reputation. You build with cheap
stuff. You are building with things that will pass away. Maybe your education which is not a bad
thing. It’s a good thing but it’s not enough to build. There has to be something more than just
my diploma. There has to be some character. There has to be some fiber. There has to be some
gold and silver and precious stones in our hearts. When we find it, we will not be overcharged
but we will be at peace. So that’s what he said. Pretty good stuff.
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.