We live in this world with division and trouble. We are in the presence of enemies. Wisdom from above helped Paul to live in the midst of evil. Our words have to be different. Nature of what we’re doing is powerful. This is no time to fool around. Get the wisdom from above. (John 17:4-5, 10-13; Acts 18:1-15)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11554
11:00 AM on 10/7/2018
You came here because of the Bible and God leading you in faith. You want to hear it right from the Bible. What does P. Schaller say? Okay, but what does the Bible say?
Jn. 17, How many read in the Bible Jesus went off to pray somewhere? A mountain, a garden. Does anyone know any of his prayers? What did he pray? Are any of them recorded? Which one? This one in Jn 17. This is the only one where the H.S. gave us the prayer. He gave us the words of this prayer. Other prayers we don’t know what he prayed. This one is written for us. That would be another message, the prayer of Jesus in Jn 17. You might be thinking our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name but was that his prayer? He taught the disciples that prayer. Maybe we have two prayers. But this one, this one is – look at a couple points only.
vs. 6. I showed your name. He’s praying to the Father. He wants the glory that he had with the Father before he came to the earth. He wants to return to that glory that he had with the Father.
vs. 5. This is ESV. He is hungry for that. He has been on the earth in this earthly form for so many years and now he wants to go back. He is hungry for it. He turns to us in his prayer and thinks of the Father’s name that has been given to us. The Father’s name is given to us. This is awesome. His nature. To know God. This is what he wants for us. Jesus is praying and saying Father, this is what has happened in my ministry. Your name has been revealed to these disciples. He has us in mind. I pray not only for them but those who will believe in Baltimore, Maryland.
vs. 8. Has God given you any words? Has God put the word in your spirit? Have you heard any of his words? I have given them the words you gave me. I have given them to them. These words are here in this book. They are in our hearts. They are in our mouths. Words. This has made us different because we have a wisdom from above in distinction from the wisdom from below. This was Wednesday night’s message. I’ll give you the diagram. This is a man and he has shoes like this and two arms. This man has wisdom from below.
James 3. Feet are in the dust. Let’s put some dust here. Our body from the dust. I’m hungry. I have a sex drive. I’m thirsty. I’m tired. I want to go to sleep. This is part of our life. Wisdom from below is connected with my body. When Adam and Eve were in the garden, we read Eve looked at the forbidden tree and said it’s good for food. Wisdom from below is connected with my body. Then it says earthly, sensual and then devilish.
This is what it says in James 3. Earthly, sensual. We kind of in our diagram draw sensuality by putting an antenna on us. I have an antenna. I can feel my environment. I can sense danger. I can sense love. I can sense comfort. I can sense fear. I am sensual. Connected with these projections, this is demonic. There is an intelligence that is from below that is described by these three words. Earthly, sensual and devilish. If we didn’t have God, then we would be easily led by groups of people, by what is in the atmosphere, by demonic wisdom. Demonic wisdom could say J.C. is the problem. J.C. is the problem? Jesus Christ is the problem. That’s what the devil says. We could say it because our wisdom could be devilish. We could say the wrong thing is the problem, people or any number of things. How many temptations did Jesus have in the wilderness? He was tempted continually for 40 days but we only know of 3 written in the Scriptures. Without going into it but to let you study it on your own, when they said turn the stones into bread Jesus was hungry. That would be right here. I need to eat food. God would understand. I need to eat food. Jesus is saying no. No. It is written man must not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from God. There is another wisdom. Wisdom from below says you need to eat the food. Wisdom from above says God will give you the food. God cares about you having food. Give us this day our daily bread is a prayer to God. We could work on this for a minute. I know I’m not going to get to my message because of this, but I had to say it. There is another wisdom and the same picture, we’re human beings but it says the wisdom from above is first pure. It’s not from here up.
It’s from here down. In the prayer in Jn 17, Jesus said I have given them your words. From where? They came from God to our hearts and spirit. This has made us different. We are in the world but there is a difference about us. We are here but we have another kind of thinking. We have a spiritual mind. It’s first pure, peaceable, gentle, without hypocrisy, without partiality. List of descriptions of wisdom from above. Let’s go back to our list here.
Jn 17:8, receiving words in the spirit, in prayer, in meditation. Receiving words in faith. Receiving words in concentration. Receiving words from God, the Bible speaking.
vs. 10. Later he said I am in them and they are in me. Wow. It’s almost like we are in our children and our children are in us. In our marriages, I am in my wife and my wife is in me. In church life, I am in you and you are in me. In God, we are in God and God is in us. This has made us different.
vs. 13 the next one is joy. Keep them, and then oneness and then joy. These are those words Christ prayed in his prayer that were answered by God for our lives so we are a different kind of people.
We are living in this world and my message and I don’t want to be long in it is from Acts 18. This is prefacing our message. That portion will help us understand what I want to say today.
Act 18, we have seen in our country a kind of political warfare. We have seen in our country recently a lot of emotion, a lot of feeling, opinion, and also we have seen division. It’s interesting for us because we live in this world but we live in this world with these words. These words are important to us because regardless what people are saying or thinking in one arena of activity, we are in one where we are able to say we are here with a message. We are on a mission. We are caring and concerned about things but we have a way of operating and living in a Communist country, not this one, but a Communist country in the past or China in the present. There are missionaries that live in a Hindu country, a Buddhist country like Vietnam or an Islamic country. A lot of room for us to get into some kind of fight with these people that think differently from us. We are on a mission. These words are what characterize our new life. We have found a new life.
We have found God in our lives in the presence of our enemies in Ps. 23. We are in the presence of people who may not understand us or believe like we believe. In the presence of people who have an entirely different way of thinking.
Acts 18 is a description of Paul on the mission field.
How he’s able to live on the mission field and it seems from vs. 1 to 17, he is able to manage with a wisdom that is from above to escape from the trouble below. This is possible. I read this interesting story by Richard Wumbrandt. He had been in prison for two years and it was the first time he had seen a mirror for 2 years. “They had to make repairs on our latrine so the guards took us to a place and there was a mirror there. When I looked at myself, I started laughing. I used to be considered a handsome man now I’m a thin guy with black circles under my eyes…one day I will be even uglier than that. I’ll be a skeleton under a skull. I thought God created man in his own image. I wondered what it meant. My wife came and stood beside me. In her intuition, she knew what was going on in my mind. God created man in his own image male and female created them and our godliness consists of the union of two sexes. Through this we became pro creators or deputy creators. We became capable of creating eternal beings just as God created Adam and Eve…. life is infinite. We are united to God.” These thoughts I am ugly but made in God’s image. I am dying but I live forever. Words. God’s name. He keeps us, oneness, and joy.
When Paul was on the mission field in Acts 18:1, Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.
vs. 2-4. Paul is a missionary and heard of these two Jewish people Aquila and Priscila and went to see them. Then he went to the synagogue and shared the message of Christ.
vs. 5. Paul was occupied with the word. Silas and Timothy joined him. They have Priscila and Aquila and Paul is occupied with the Scripture. That’s what we should do in our country. In this country, be occupied with the Bible. Be reading the Bible. Read it often. God will speak to you from the Bible and give you wisdom. There are battles going on. We need to pick where we go and what we say and what we are doing in our mission. Paul is saying I am here to evangelize and I will go to the synagogue and do that.
vs. 6. Maybe he realized that there is just a fight in the synagogue. But that fight is not in me. I don’t have a fight in me. I have a mission. I have something to do. I have something to say. People to love and care about. Children and teenagers and unbelievers and people in the street, in the prison, orphan and widows. People homeless and troubled and depressed, sad. Plenty to do. This part of our life in the center is why our tank is not empty. We have fuel. We have a fight. Not a fight over here in the synagogue because we realize what that is. I have a mission. I have love in our heart. Joy we can bring home. Bring the joy home. Bring the word home. Bring the love home. When you come home, bring home the joy, the love, the ministry. To be honest, the fight going on in the hearts of people and the struggles they have in their life we may pity them or feel sorry for them. Jesus said let the blind alone. The blind lead the blind. That’s part of life. I’m trying to say something that is important to us. You don’t get in a fight with the Communists in the Communist country but find you way where the people that are needy and hungry for the joy. Where are the people that want the wisdom from above?
Acts 18:7, His house is next door to the synagogue. He just goes out of the synagogue into this man’s house because he heard he’s a worshipper of God. The man lives next door to the synagogue is hungry for God and a worshipper of God. He’s right next door. Many times we don’t have to go very far and God has a ministry for us. It’s another kind of fight. It’s one with myself to find the wisdom above so that I can speak a word in season to him that is weary. It’s a wisdom from above that sets us free. The truth will set you free. It will be a ministry. It’s beautiful. His house was next door to the synagogue.
I remember I can’t put it into words it shook me to the core. I was in a Soviet republic and Communism had ended. We held a meeting. A couple KGB officers in there. Their world was shaken. The Soviet Union had collapsed. Now they are listening to me preach a message. I saw on the face of one of them the total collapse. I saw that person as they are listening to me the Holy Spirit speak to them and they are thinking maybe this is true. Maybe what this man is saying is true. I saw it happen right there. I pitied them. I’m sorry but also very happy, very glad.
There are people that live in a whole world, the whole foundation of it. The whole thing can move. It may not be true. This is what Paul is representing. This is what Jesus is saying. This world is needy. There will be people in this world that have something deeper than politics or ideology. It’s your relationship with the living God who is calling to you and saying to you the most important thing you could ever hear. Come to me. I am the rock. Build your house on me. I met with this person and had a talk. They said we would arrest people like you in the previous regime. Not the foreigners but the native people doing this. We would arrest them, wiretap them. They would go to jail and this type of thing happened. Now maybe it’s true what you are seeing. Paul is kept in himself in this place. I would like you to keep yourself in that place. Paul is keeping himself in that place where he can be used by God to bring the message of Christ, to evangelize people, to sit and love them. Whatever their world is that is coming apart.
God is for you but you have to get your life established on what God has done for you in Jesus Christ, vs.8. Crispus believed and was a ruler of the synagogue. What happened to him? After that it looks like he lost his name. There is a new leader who gets beat up by the tribunal. Crispus is mentioned in the Corinthian epistle. This man become a believer. The point of this is what is needed in every community and everywhere in our country what is needed to keep us in this place where Jesus said to the Father, Father, this is what I gave them. This is what is needed. The world will hate them. You will keep them and call them to this work. This is in your heart. You may not understand all I’m saying but you can understand little and say this is in my heart, too. I believe in what that preacher is saying. I believe this book is God’s word. I believe the Spirit wants to help me in this life. I get myself into things and find myself tired, exhausted, the gas in my tank is vaporous. We are worn out. I need a resting place. I need a Christ, the Sabbath. I need God’s word to be my comforter, healer. I need a heart, a vision. I need to see love. I want to love and be loved. I want God to show up and come through the wall. Walk through the wall of my life and say peace be unto you. This is wearing me out. People into the news day and night they get worn out. There is a better way. Paul is right there showing us something. He has a lot of trouble on the outside but a lot of good stuff going on on the outside too. Priscila, Aquila, Silas, Timothy and now Justus and Crispus.
vs. 9. I love to say that to everyone in our country. I don’t care who says it. Keep at it. Keep at it. Keep at it. Go back to God. Get it from God. Go out and keep at it. There needs to be a great healing that goes on in our communities. A lot of love expressed, a way above to escape the hell below. There has to be a resting place for God’s people. Sheep lying down in green pastures. After words of wisdom are said, there is silence. It’s beautiful and we are silent. The wisdom above is without hypocrisy and partiality. Not an unresolved statement but a clarion sound like a bell. Ding!!!! Not a clanking tin can. The clear sound of truth. This is what your calling is. This is what our work is. This is what the people around us need. Quiet clarity and simplicity, purity. Sometimes silence is our ministry. To sit with someone and not fight with anyone. Love someone and care about them. That’s who we are. You can go on for decade after decade without strife and God’s peace. Jesus said to Paul, don’t run away from Corinth.
I have many people in this city, vs. 9-10. They need you. They need you. They need you. They do. They need us. There are people that need it. The yoke is easy and the burden is light.
vs. 11. Untied attack on Paul. Turn to your neighbor and say that to them, united attack. Let me say something about evil. It’s in our hearts. We have evil hearts of unbelief but the degree of evil may stay in me in my heart. It’s manifested through my mind and action in varying degrees. Many aren’t as evil as they could be. But this is how the evil grows is by expressing the evil in my heart. When I find another evil person, that evil becomes a community or confederation of evil and it increases. It may increase in a united attack against Paul. It’s one thing not to like Paul, it’s another thing to be with others don’t like him and speak and plan to destroy him. See how it goes. This is the Greek PONEROS. Group evil. It’s like I am a homosexual, I am not – I have to make that clear. I am not but let’s say a man would say I am but now it goes to not only is it I am but I am pushing the agenda. I am propagating the idea. I want others to be this way. I’m putting money, time and energy into it. I can’t rest until I am propagating that which is in my heart. Why do I say this? I don’t want any of us who have been given these words to be evil. Why? There is an energy and a pleasure in the evil. It’s wisdom from below. Earthly sensual – antenna, connecting and projections, demonic – and I have a wisdom about it. I’m an intelligent person propagating this. It’s wrong. Unfortunately unless these words of Christ by the H.S. get in me how will I find the wisdom from above? How will I realize it is wrong? How will I know what sin is unless God shows me? I can say Barabbas, Barabbas set him free. What should I do with Christ? Crucify him. That can’t happen to us. That can’t happen in any form. We can’t be a part of that. These words are Jesus’ prayer. Father, they have to be different from the world I’m in. This world hates me. These people are not hating me. They are loving me and loving you because I revealed your name to them. They understand it. It’s part of their new nature, their new birth. They are embracing it and know this.
Acts 18:12-13, 14, 15, Paul was delivered by this judge who didn’t even give Paul an opportunity to speak. He said I made my decision. This case is dismissed. The crowd listening turned on the Jews and started beating them. Paul goes off his way and they continued in the ministry. God did it. He was delivered out of that work.
I think we said it enough. I love you guys and believe in what we are doing. The nature of what we are doing is important. It will help us in our future, with our children, our married life, and our mission work here at home and wherever we go. It’s not a time to fool around. It’s a time to get the wisdom from above. It will help me stay out of things that maybe I shouldn’t be in there.
Be careful what you get associated with on many levels. We had two men here delivered from drugs more than a year and the man is drawn by a young woman and back on the drugs because he’s drawn to the woman. A man may want a woman in his life. Who? But who? How does it work? How do I know? Not to make us overly cautious but to say you can’t live a natural life.
You need something else to happen in your heart and life. This is God’s love and grace and God’s Spirit and word so you can walk and be effective like the Apostle Paul is showing us in this portion.
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