The natural man seeks to the thing that comes naturally. He goes for vengeance and making things right. God calls us to be restore, to help the broken, the beaten, the Absaloms even. Galatains 6:1; 2 Samuel 18: 5-12
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
Sermon # 11608
7:30 PM on 1/9/2019
Thank you Zane and Zoe. Sister and brother. Great family. Beautiful people.
Can you be relaxed with me tonight and give me a lot of grace because I just flew in last night and would like to fall down there and fall asleep for a couple hours! I have a message and want to share it with you. Before I do, I am talking to you from my heart and for you to be happy and joyful and Spirit-filled. How about that for a change?
Hey, Jack, is your brother home? Charles, welcome home. Wish you were here. We love you. How long is he here for? He goes back Monday. We’ll see him, right? Great.
Did I miss anyone? Are we good to go? Are we understanding now that I really do have jet lag!
I’ll talk a little bit about our trip. Thank you for your prayers. God answered them. Remember I said I was concerned. We have a map. Pete Westera and I went to Moscow. The Soviet Union is 11 times zones so it’s a big country. People came from many places: Siberia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan. Pirjo worked hard with others and myself and helped getting some of these pastors from Central Asia to Moscow. We do this once a year. We have pastor breakfasts and meetings. The Spirit ministers and builds us up. Thank you. I mean it. I’m so thankful that the Spirit magnifies J.C. all the time and who we are and what we believe. Not GG but who we are and what we believe. The Body and the mystery of the Body and the reality of God. These pastors doing their work and teaching and restoring people. Setting a bone.
Gal 6:1 to adjust, put in order, restore, setting a limb that has been dislocated, development of certain parts of the body in exercise, restoring people to their rightful mind, reconciling friends that become estranged…used of fitting out a ship, used of an army fully armed and equipped and drawn up in battle array. Gal. 6:1 this word we are talking about. That’s the word, restore. Dislocated shoulder and putting it back. Restoring a brother, a ministry to a sister, seeing people that are different brought together. People that have disagreements seeing them sit down and have fellowship together. We learn how to do this. We learn how to minister and help people. Overlook some things and emphasize other things. Isn’t that good. Used of disciples mending their nets. A scholar can’t turn out better equipped than his teacher. Vessels fit for destruction in 9:22 is another use.
Another passage perfectly joined together, 1 Cor. 1:22. We are joined together in the same mind. Conferences. P. Scibelli leaves tonight. He’s going to do that in Africa. We do that here in the Footsteps, the Bible school. Tomorrow night at Federal Hill we’ll do some teaching and preaching, have an hour of fellowship and have some of the young guys share. P. Ben is coming from Israel and will do a whole week on Israel and the end times. He’s a scholar. He’s an exceptional preacher/teacher. He’ll be with us the week after. Two weeks from today, he’ll be in this pulpit.
We got there Tues. night and Friday morning had a breakfast and then I flew to Helsinki and did the same with the Finnish brothers and sisters. I was so encouraged by the young people. (He’s naming them). Young people stepping up, the people loving each other, the buzz in the room. The encouragement and joy. I was very encouraged. I attribute that to your prayers. God did something. Your love and prayers and faith.
1 Cor. 15, one side thing to have in back of your mind, sometimes in the third world when I’m asked to go to someone’s house to eat, you know what I do? I eat before I go. Explain that to your neighbor! Amoebas and bacteria and water. I get a plate of food and move the food around with my fork. That’s Prov 23. If I eat before I go, I won’t be hungry and have an appetite and eat it and potentially get sick. So I eat before I go. Spiritually, I think it’s true in life. I want to eat from God and get what I need so I don’t have an appetite when I walk out there in this world. They’ll get there because you have an appetite. 1 Cor 15 speaks about the natural man, vs. 45. What’s the difference? The first Adam was soulish; the last Adam was spiritual. The first Adam the soul and very much aware of himself. Somehow something missing but he was going to grow in it and eat of the tree of life. He should have eaten of the tree of life in one sense. As soon as he could have eaten of the tree of life and become spiritual, but he ate of the other tree and sinned. When he sinned, he lost God. When he lost God, he got an appetite for the natural, the world he was living in without God’s presence. He was a natural person. This is important to understand.
vs. 46. What does it mean? First was the natural and not the spiritual. That means Jesus came afterwards or Adam got saved and became spiritual afterwards. Your first birth is natural; your new birth is spiritual.
vs. 47-49. We will be glorified. Our bodies will be resurrected.
We will bear the image of the heavenly, shine as the stars is Da. 12 and fly away in Ps 90:10. No sorrow, no tears or death in the heavenly Jerusalem. You need an imagination in order to believe it. Even the earthly life as amazing things you see. Cut a potato in pieces and throw it in the ground and green bushes come up. A caterpillar makes a cocoon and a butterfly comes out. Amazing world of chemistry and physical and then the spiritual. We are born of the Spirit and learn things about God that are amazing. We see it and learn it. Forgiveness. The Spirit filling us and teaching us.
There was an oak tree and branches at a fork there. There was a man hanging in the tree. We know who it was by his hair. Absalom was hanging in the tree. His donkey had ridden under the tree. His hair caught in the oak tree. 2 Sam 18 he’s hanging there and he’s alive. In 2 Sam. we read the text. vs. 5. The king commanded Joab…concerning Absalom.
2 Sam 18:5-6, vs. 7-10, interesting story, isn’t it? What did David said to the generals, these three guys in charge of the army but deal gently with Absalom. Be kind to Absalom. Who was Absalom? He was a bad guy. He wanted to kill his father. He was undoubtedly unsaved, proud, and arrogant and did a coup, and wanted to kill his dad. He hated his dad. His sister had been raped and nothing was done about it. This was something in his heart unresolved and he ends up hanging in a tree. The Old Testament teaches cursed is the man that hangs in a tree. You could say this is my opportunity to kill this guy. He’s in my hands. It works together for me. I have an advantage. David said deal gently with him. Be kind to him. There was a man who saw him in the tree.
vs. 10-11. Why didn’t you do it? Why didn’t you kill him? Joab is the general. He’s the guy. This man is saying didn’t you hear what David said? I will not go against the king. It doesn’t matter if you gave me a thousand shekels. And if I did kill him, Joab, you would go against me.
vs. 12-13. Do you know what Joab did? I’m done talking to you. Where is he? I’m going to go and kill him.
In Russia, the Lord gave us this message. I want to share it for a few minutes.
I believe the natural man very easily does the natural thing in many areas of life. He does the natural thing. My enemy is hanging on a tree. I can kill him. The spiritual man is different. The spiritual man can have perspective and think like David. You might argue David was sentimental. He didn’t want his son to die for any reason. Maybe there is something deeper here. David understands mercy and grace and God.
He understands revenge is not mine in Heb. 10:30. The Spirit wants to teach us something else that I naturally am inclined to do but I must pause because that which is first is natural. That which is second is spiritual. I could argue with my wife. It may be natural but I pause and think about it and say, why don’t I give grace? I believe in grace. Why don’t we give it? I believe God is a God of all grace and the Spirit does things the natural man does not do. The natural man is not praying. The natural man is not believing or trusting, not giving grace or quoting a Bible verse or meditating on the heart and mind. The natural man takes life naturally, but the spiritual man is different. He is hanging on a tree. He is my enemy. But I’m not going to destroy him by nature. I want to understand this more deeply. Let’s give him more time. Don’t kill him and he goes to hell but save his life. Give him more time. Let’s give him grace. Let’s find a way. Let’s pray for our enemy. Let’s go to God. Let’s forgive him and restore him.
Set the bone for the believer. When we sit down with the believer we are having a problem with, maybe we are too hard on them. We should set the bone. Or the church going in some other direction yet they invite us to be part of their fellowship and we by a gentle ministry of wisdom and kindness and understanding lead them in the Spirit of God. To see and comprehend the deeper thing.
What is God doing with the churches, with our sisters and brothers? To be honest, we are all going to hang in a tree one day. Let’s park there for a second. Talk about that with your neighbor.
We are all going to hang on a tree by ourselves one day. What’s funny about it? Why was Absalom caught in the tree? What part of his body? His hair. He got his hair pulled or shaved once a year. The weight of the hair is recorded in the Scripture. He had a thick head of raven, black hair. He was a very good looking guy. The pride of Absalom is what caught him in the tree.
It may catch you and me. When we are hanging there, there is a curse on us. We should say could anyone take me down? Anyone care about me? Anyone giving me grace? Could someone serve me?
Who else hung on a tree? Jesus. But not out of pride but out of the heart of David. Absalom, Absalom, my son, my son, I would have died for you. I would have hung in the tree for you. My son, my son, Absalom.
There is Jesus in this world. We have to admit when my enemy falls into my hands and he is so much victimized by his circumstances, I have a great advantage to kill him and finish it. I go to bed with judgment in my heart that night. I judged him. I destroyed him. He’s done and finished.
Lincoln quoting the Scripture said mercy is better than judgment. On Fridays, he would forgive the soldiers who went AWOL in battle. They were to be executed according to military law but as the chief commander, he had the right to give mercy. He sat on Fridays and gave mercy. He said mercy is better than judgment.
Joab went and killed him. We do that too in our hearts with our enemies. I’m asking you and me too to think and pause and think about not the first Adam but the last Adam. And that which is first is to complain. That which is second is to rejoice. That which is first is to kill him. That which is second is to give mercy.
I’m not talking to Jack Hadley who is a state trooper. You have mercy on the road. He’s also engaged, right? That’s public information now! Congratulations. Give him another hand.
There are people in the world and their job is to bring judgment. There is too much amongst us sometimes with each other. We are too quick to find the fault, to find them hanging and bring them down and destroy.
I’m saying let us practice mercy. Let’s do the opposite of what you may tend to do tomorrow morning. You may tend to complain but change it by faith and rejoice. Instead of judging, give mercy by faith. Instead of being hard, be soft and kind. Instead of being strict and rigid and right, be a victim and lay down your life. Take the hit. Give them mercy. Love your enemy. Your heavenly Father will see you and reward you secretly. You will be rewarded for what you do in secret. It may be seen publicly. Someone will look at you life after a period of time and say how do you do it? I’m walking before God not as a natural man but as a spiritual man. I have found something the world doesn’t know about. I have found the life of faith.
Don’t touch him when he’s hanging in the tree. Be kind to him and give him mercy. Don’t try to destroy a church and tear down a ministry. If a pastor gets in a lot of trouble in adultery or stealing money, he’s hanging in a tree. Pour on the judgment. The miserable poor representation, the poor example of Christianity and you pour judgment on the poor man hanging in the tree.
Jesus didn’t do that. Jesus died for us that we would be changed. Jesus loves us unconditionally. Jesus is kind to us and gives us mercy. Jesus cares about our future and saves us day after day and gives us this love and mercy and H.S. Let us walk in that Spirit. Let us live in that Spirit and know the Spirit of God in our lives.
I have one thing written down here… Let’s say this one. When this one is hanging in a tree, I could destroy it or say, oh God, help it. Uphold it. Strengthen it. Bring revival. Bring it to our country. Bring it to the churches.
Help us. Lead us. Give your great grace and mercy to us all the time. Amen.
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