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23. Bible Study Reformation

Mark Howard

Presenter

Mark Howard

Director, Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism

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Recorded

  • June 13, 2016
    6:00 PM
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Father in heaven thank you so much for this time we have to just talk about what it is ultimately that our goal is here we want to be faithful to the commission that you've given us and we want Lord not to be working in vain we want to have fruit from our labors we want the blessing of God So please Father I pray that you would give us wisdom and insight today and as we talk about these keys to success Lord help us to remember that what's most important is that we do our duty and leave the success with you but help us to see how we can be more efficient in pro fish and in the work of winning souls so that we can see greater fruit from our labors we asked a few of them I'm going to put up here and mention in a few a moment to take a little more time to talk about so the first one is commune with God and if I could just. It should be go without saying but it needs to be said. And that is that if you are on fire. You will start a fire. If you are no you're going to be much more mechanical and you know the Lord can use donkey for sure but he. Would rather use people who are you know totally sold out for him so by having communion with God you'll be in tune you'll be at peace with God and you'll be more excited about sharing and I'm telling you your conviction brings conviction and so make sure that you're staying close to God spending personal time with God being in regular communion with God. Number two. I've got seven here. Know your topic. One of the things that sometimes doesn't get quite enough attention is you know there is a difference between someone who. Understands the logic of the truth and someone who doesn't now logic won't win a single soul by itself OK but there is a power in our message in that it is it is harmonious it's a perfect chain of truth that makes sense and that clarity and the ability to understand an argument in an airtight way is persuasive and you want to you know this is a bit what I would call a develop. Being. Straight but you don't want to stop in terms of your growing and learning and getting more solid I'm not talking about getting more interesting in terms of you know trying to come up with. Crazy and sensational ways of understanding something I'm just talking about slowly but surely pecking away at little doubts that exist you know that every When you became a Seventh Day Adventist of you if you study this message from outside the church it's not like there was nothing you had didn't have a question about. I mean there were things you had but there was just so much weight of evidence that you went with that weight of evidence but as time goes on you're trying to peck away at those little doubts and questions until you are making it more and more solid so the more solid it is the more you're going to be able to be convincing and persuade and you know when I go into a Bible study. I'm chomping at the bit. I'm Just because I'm sure. That if I can just have a little bit of time. The truth is so clear it's so powerful unless they are going to stubbornly resist it it's going to win I'm I mean it's just that clear I mean there's and. The more you study and peck away at your own questions the more you have that and they tell you something when you share with people when you talk to people that becomes evident it's your own conviction now I'm not talking about being overbearing but I just mean in yourself having that confidence in the message is something that really does make a difference it really does in fact I would go so far as to say that the reason that a great number of seventh Avenue is do not give Bible studies or share there is actually because they have certain hang ups they're not saying it they're not admitting it but they've got certain hang ups about our doctrines and when you see him saying oh we shouldn't push in this or whatever oftentimes what they're saying is I'm not so sure that's true. I'm not so clear about that OK and that's why they don't get decisions. So know your topic if you have doubts about something drill down and get to the bottom of it talk to people that you would have confidence and who have maybe taken time to study it out and say I really want to understand this better and drill down and get to where you are removing those areas that that would create in your own mind a hesitancy to call someone who does is about early I'll give you an example here. Perhaps one of the most sensitive and. Questioned areas of our faith is. Adventist lifestyle and. Specifically jewelry and let me be clear you are not going to get a decision from someone to follow Christ and dress modestly unless you are convicted from the Bible. That that is exactly what God is calling us do you understand what I'm saying. So you say well. I read the text but you know and I can kind of see it I went with it because you know everything else made sense. But you know I can't really airtight say that Paul was saying absolutely no Jorian so so therefore I'm not going to call someone else I'm going to wait when I get to that point I'm going to say. Well you know we just need to give them time. Or we'll say you know here's where we asked the pastor. Because we do not feel. Right doing something that we do not know for sure Hearts. Forward on maybe I'll talk about the jury issues specifically that be OK with you but in just a sherry view a couple of thoughts on it because I have dug deep enough myself that I feel convicted we're going to take one more question on this and. I don't know I read that very good very good yeah he's been president here since I was in college so probably he probably wrote early on yes. Yeah again I'm a pause you say OK I want to get back to that in just a moment OK I'll share just a few thoughts. But I don't necessarily want to get deep into that right now because I've got to get through some things I appreciate what you just said I would say this. I would say it outside of here. Because when you're sharing with someone who is struggling with that the last thing they want is last thing they're going to accept is that they're associating with the devil because they're whatever even I know that's not you know maybe in the broader scheme of things they might be able to see that down the road that the devil has brought deception in that regard but this is one of the we're talking about maybe I should finish what I'm about to say because when I get to the keys to success one of the aspects is you're dealing with people and when you're dealing with people you need to have a very clear sense of how to bridge the gap from you know where there is going to be some defensiveness to where there opens its root and on practical areas there's no there's nothing like practical areas to test how we do it that and to me when you're talking about anything jewellery included the best thing our plane statements in the Bible and what we're going to do is we're going to look at you know because you can do come up with a lot of. Ideological ideological for the philosophical rationales for why we should do it but I like when the Bible just says it and that's what I use when I talk to them I want to be I want to just go right to what the Bible says which is what we're going to do with this minute but before I do I want to give you a couple more here number three and. Just because I know what we're wrestling with with time we may have to talk about this for a few minutes this afternoon Mark but. One of the number one. Reasons that lay people struggle with Bible studies is they are not working with ripe interests and they don't know how to categorize interests when you have a series of meetings you should take your list and categorize those interests and a interest is someone who is there all the time they're coming regularly they're asking questions they're making decisions they're talking about changes that they're making OK that's an interest. A B interest may come and that sort of thing but it regularly so you know there's a strong interest but you've not necessarily seen evidence of change or you know you're not quite sure if they're ready to step over the line. A C. entrust would be somebody that you know they come periodically they're you know off and on you've not really sensed that they they've become and got a bit of a guard you don't know really that there is a strong interest there yet and the idea with any type of soul winning is you're trying to move your C's to become be these your B.S. to become a zero eight is to be baptized and. One of the challenges that we run into is studying with the same people over and over again who are not really responsive to the truth and they're not making changes or decisions to follow and obey the truth. They may act like they love it but then when you get to talking to them about you know the Sabbath is the seventh day and you know what does that mean and what have you and they just on and on and on are not making any change not showing any evidence that they are are going to make a change then what you're. Dealing with is a situation where sometimes people just like the company they like the there's almost a false sense of security that they're getting that the fact that they're in the process even though they're not making decisions. And so finding those interests who are right and the only way you can find to find interests who are ripe meaning interest to make decisions to actually follow the truth when they hear it only way that you can determine that is if you are bringing them to that point and if you are actually asking them to obey. And this is where a lot of our lot of our members they don't even know where their interests are I'll tell you when I went to the South Lyon church to pastor there. There were I mean I couldn't believe it that the church had maybe thirty five people attending. And and out of that thirty five people attending maybe fifteen were not Adventists. And they were coming to things and whatever and the members just did not know. What to Do they were coming they were studying with them they were part of what was going on or whatever but they didn't know what needed to be done and I went in there and at first year we had a bunch of Baptists has a wonderful year but what I'm telling you is you need to learn that soul winning is is advancing you are always advancing them and you are looking to advance them and so. Only when you have that mindset are you able to determine whether interests are ripe or not as my point because they may have done four rounds of studies with somebody at south line that didn't mean that they were ripe interest they just didn't know because they weren't actually asking them to. Follow where they needed to follow you understand I'm saying you can't know you don't know until you test that and so you have to have that mindset and once you have that mindset then you start recognizing who's right who's not and you start dealing with them differently based on how you categorize. Number four. Is should go saying as well but I'm going to write it down it would be genuine and loving what I mean by genuine. You know don't. Don't be. So. Concerned with talking. And sharing your concepts and what have you that you're not able to empathize and sympathize with someone in soul winning is a heart endeavor and you're talking to a person and that person has all manner of background and and things that have made them who they are and you need to be genuine and relatable with people. There are some people who are very mechanical. And they're mechanical when they give their bible studies they're mechanical when they were talk to people they're too worried about what they're going to say to think about what's actually happening in the heart of the person they're talking to their they're not able to come out of themselves and to actually think about the other person so and by the way when I say Be Genuine I mean. How many of you are Ph D.'s OK then don't act like one. Oh we had one over here did you raise your hand yes all right in. In what. Say it again a minute a minute all right well you can act like one. But hopefully it's not much different videos right. But the idea is you don't want to try to be somebody that you're not OK that doesn't mean I'd be careful to say this if you are struggling in your Christian life and you are. You've got to be setting sins in your life. And you're being vulnerable in your study and letting them know about it or whatever guess what you're not going to be able to do. Get decisions for them to follow the truth you're not going to get. So that's not what I'm talking about being genuine. If you're truly genuine you need to you need to go to the Lord and and honestly commit to him and you'll have such a greater power in your in your ministry to other people. It doesn't mean that there's never time that you're studying with someone and you're not wrestling with it but and this may sound wrong I don't know how you expect but it's fine for you to say hey we all struggle but I wouldn't be gone into details about some current thing that you are going through to try and and you know because they're only going to use that. To prevent them and you may you know be on a forward journey but they. You know need you to. To give them evidence that they can overcome. But here's the difference with him talking about Haagen Das and this is a good point. Did he go after. The message to the cedar Reeder cedar cafe and get himself some ice cream. He had he had an experience and he had overcome right now let me ask you a question does that mean that we did we watch Doug bachelor four years preach about overcoming while he was struggling with Haagen Das. Did he ever say anything about it and he shouldn't of. You've all and I'm saying. It's not that it was a you know this was not you know he wasn't cheating on his wife here this was you know I mean if he had a battle with the flesh which we sometimes will have OK and he has passed through it and now using it as experience to let people know that they too can make it through it but I certainly if I was him wouldn't be talking about it in the midst of that battle if you understand what I'm saying yes. Right so which is all the more reason why we should be above reproach OK I'm not trying to condone anything and certainly if somebody was you know. In the midst of a very grievous sin or something I would not even have you I would have you deal with the Lord and get things right before but if somebody is struggling with ice cream I don't view that the same way I mean Jesus didn't either I want you to understand something Jesus said. You you tie meant and anise and cumin and you do. Omit or neglect the what. Weighty are matters of the law so what does that tell us that tells us that there are some matters that are weightier than others and Ellen White herself says that she says that not all sins are of the same degree but she also says but no sin is small the side of God. So nothing is small which is why we wrestle to over. Come even those things that maybe early in our experience we didn't see as a problem but God has begun to tell us that maybe this is a problem but during all that we're wanting to be winning souls or wanting to be you know. So we're talking about things that are that are battles that we go through this life I'm just saying don't flaunt them and use them as sort of a hey I'm being real with you kind of thing because it really. Takes away the conviction and the solemnity of what you're doing because you're wanting to lead them to make decisions so OK I've got three more that are sort of related now but now number five make. Bible. Truth. Clear and I especially you know. Say this. I know some of Angelus we talk about appeals a lot when you work in the Banjul ism because the courts of appeals and I've heard it many times by very strong Evangelists the idea that you can give a real poor sermon but if you have a real good appeal then you can get decisions and make you know whatever and I think there's truth to that but I don't think that the decision gained from that appeal will be as sustainable as if the message itself was solid and clear. See the clarity and persuasiveness of what you share. Has the greatest impact on holding them in the truth that you have shared OK So just like the other day we were doing labs and I talked about how you share the idea of you know no pork you know and you read a little bit of his eleven. Are pigs or swine However reads it in your version. Well what I mean by being clear I mean they might not remember that sausage is that. You've got to tell them. They might not remember that bacon or that you know whatever so you say in a very kind way now what would that include. And then they bring it to you and then if they leave any out you know why did you do that you just want to bring it home now we're coming to a point that you need to be crystal clear and you need to know that they are crystal clear because it's a point on which they're going to what. After make a decision. Any time you're at a point where they're going to have to make a decision you've got to make it clear. Now if they got it don't hammer it and write it I'm not saying that I'm just saying you want to make sure that they understand what's what's been presented they understand what the Bible says and that's true about the Sabbath I mean you know you might tell somebody you know. The Bible. You know says that we should make Sabbath a spiritual day it's not a day for for all the common things that we so often are you are you willing to make some of this your ritual Day Yes OK Let's move on well what's the problem with that what does it mean to make Sabbath a spiritual day. Well it means you don't buy or sell because Nehemiah thirteen specifically says in the text what evil thing is this that you do by which you profane the Sabbath day when there was commerce going on both buying and selling happening there in the image after thirteen you know my as crystal clear about. Well what about work well your man servant or your maid servant who might that include and they have to tell you you're wanting to make it clear what's involved in their decision you know say I'm saying now why would we not want to make it clear and I'm not saying it's a good thing to not make it clear so I'm asking why would someone ovoid making it clear. Maybe they're not themselves doing it and so they don't want to delve into that they don't feel comfortable about it you know that David struggled with his children his children became on godly because of Davidson with Bathsheba he felt too guilty to do. Discipline his kids because he felt so unworthy Well you've got to be careful that you're not projecting your problems onto that candidate and making it fuzzy because it's fuzzy for you OK So that's one reason why else OK if you're not to that step yet you could say that like if you're not to that study yet or something is this coming up in conversation you might keep it vague because you're not quite ready to really dive in but when it's time and when the study is happening it doesn't make clear but what the reason people don't make it clear is because they know that it's going to be uncomfortable when they do you understand what I'm saying when you make it clear as soon as you make it clear like you know this person works on seven you know that. You know they're planning to go to the game next Sabbath and so you don't bring up Isaiah fifty eight and say well how would we apply as if if you're not doing your own pleasure Well that might include things such as you know when you don't say that because you're not wanting it to be uncomfortable because you don't want it to be uncomfortable if you're if you don't want to be uncomfortable I mean just be clear if you don't want to be uncomfortable you will never get a decision from someone for Christ's. You won't get it. Because decisions for Christ are amount to a person making a change in their life and you cannot bring someone to the point of change without them feeling. Conviction and conviction is discomfort that's what it is and the reason that we have so much struggle as lay people to lead people all the way is that very thing of it's almost like we think it's wrong to make people feel uncomfortable. Like we think that we who are we to impose on them and whatever like we forget that this is a soul that needs one for the kingdom and that that Christ is pleading through us be reconciled to God and that's what Scripture says we're ambassadors for heaven so there's nothing wrong I'm not talking about making them feel unnecessarily uncomfortable I'm not talking about putting the weight of the world on them or pressure that's over the top but I am talking about allowing the discomfort to be there is the only way to gain decisions so in order to do that you've got to make it clear you've got to make it very very clear. OK Then you've got to ask. For. Obedience I thought a long time about how to say that we say appeal for a decision. Feel for decision what what are we talking about what you're really doing is simply asking them to obey. You asking them to obey so. You know you share the Sabbath and then you say. Is there you know have you thought about keeping the Sabbath yourself well. Is there any reason why you wouldn't want to. Well. Promise you that God will. If you want or you're encouraging them to obey and once the truth is made clear stand your ground for the Lord's sake. For the Lord's sake stand your ground that is the risk part of a Bible study that many members don't want. Because your company brought to a point where there's a little bit of discomfort and if they don't respond favorably then what might it risk the friendship right the relationship. And so what we do is we avoid We say oh I just you know we coddle and we don't and I'm not saying that we shouldn't be patient sympathetic all that I've got to be careful but some people never come to the point where they really just encourage someone that look you really should do this or it's going to last you for and even though we know that they're going to go home and struggle all night and we just don't want that but we've got to ask them to obey and I had a you know Pastor one time said you know if you're going to tell someone who's got a job he's got to feed a family that they need to keep the Sabbath and tell their employer they're not going to have the need to be ready to put food on their on their table. No I don't. I'm not God. Right but I know that God will honor those who honor him and I said I can I can say that with full assurance and I don't know how he's going to do it and I know he's going to do it. And I know just as well that if they put temporal things above the things of heaven that they will be lost so I've got an obligation on my heart. I'm a debtor to God. He has he has shown me and I need to. I need to not waver because of self when the time comes I need to be loving I need to be encouraging but I need to not make it make them feel like they're innocent going ahead with whatever sinful lifestyle it is that I'm trying to encourage them to make a change. So we need to be willing to ask for obedience. And the last one here. Is for. Map to zoom in for baptism. What I mean by that you need to know what the commitment is involved in someone being baptized and every Bible study you give should be preparation for baptism you're not just aimlessly studying with them this is not you know and sometimes at first were like oh I just I got a Bible study and that's what we're excited about and we should be but you need to always be looking forward because if you know what's involved in the commitment and where your end is it will change what you do along the way. You know I personally feel that before someone is baptized and I believe I have the authority of scripture and spirit prophecy on this and I believe that for someone's baptized they could they should make a decision to take off their jewelry now because I believe that OK I'm not going to be happy when my sister in law. I should be careful. But I had a situation come up where I was studying with someone they were a long way off from baptism OK and they they they like jewelry and so someone got them a jury box I'm not going to do that OK if they put it as the first second and third thing on their Christmas list I'm not going to do that because I know where I'm going and I know where they're going and they're not going to mean it. Yourself I'm saying. If you you should look at that person with the full expectation that they are going to be baptized and everything you're doing is coaching them that way all along the way I had a study with my brother and sister in law and there was I told you about before there baptized down there this week but before they were baptized it was a struggle and there were certain areas that I knew was a struggle and I knew that if I appealed on that that there was things coming up that I wasn't going to be able to get the decision they were not strong spiritually at the time and I and I knew I was getting ready to a point where I was going to need to make a call on a certain topic we're coming close to this topic and so I really urge them to come to Michigan. I want to urge them to go to Michigan. Ok to see others interact with others but also just a week pact of just being around spiritual influences and appeals and everything else I'll tell you what we got home and before I even said anything he was saying you know what I made a decision and I'm like crazy I mean I was something we hadn't studied fully yet but it got brought up here and there and you know he so my point is what was I doing I was aiming toward baptism the whole time and I was watching to see. What needed to happen in his life still you know what were the areas that he still was going to need to surrender where he was still outside the will of God he needed to make commitments and then finding ways to put him in environments where he would be urged closer and closer to decision and you're you know Ellen White says that we are to carry the burden of leading souls into the truth leading a soul into the truth is not just sitting down and will you you know if you have to think it through you've got to coach them you've got to be friend them you've got to find ways interact help and interact with somebody who you think might have it more influence on then you've got you know you've got a soul that you're trying to lead and where are you leading them. To baptism. To the commitment where they are surrendered right I mean because let's face it Jesus mix No we're minced no words here when he said Go therefore make disciples of all nations. Baptizing them he told us to do it don't feel guilty about it it's not a bad thing to have the goal of baptizing people that's the gateway into their surrendered life with Christ we're now they're connected with the church and they're going to be safer for heaven than they were before so don't be afraid of that we always look at always just looking for numbers that's not worry about the baptism no when they make the decision for baptism and they yield those things in preparation for it they become more secure it's not eternal security you know they've got to walk with the Lord but we should be aiming toward baptism with our Bible studies no aimless. No aimless Bobs Yes thank you for bringing that up let me say something about it briefly and give me twenty after you know. What what she is talking about here is something that. Many members have gone through but yes what many pastors have done. They have they get nervous about that time and somehow we start thinking that where you know. Where they're going to be worse off when we share this with. You know we get an ARM heads and I'm not saying you are thinking that but we we just say wow we just wish we could just let you know sleeping dogs lie here and not go that right we want to be comfortable and we know it's going to create tension and all that sort of thing but I believe that more than I have spent time with this that there's a reason why not just you are but other practical lifestyle things are so important and here's why because you have not touched the heart until you have addressed practical items it was a always going to stay with the heart and not deal with the X. journals no no you're you're those people who say that are just totally out to lunch they've not done so and enough to understand they're talking about when you are appealing with someone about something that is part of them that is part of their life that is when you are hitting the heart that is when they're having to come face to face with whether or not they will yield their will to the will of God OK if all you're doing is is beliefs or whatever you might have a superficial learner and not someone who's genuinely converted but the the but the practical lifestyle issues reveal whether someone the change of heart and what the sister said here was look. When she learned about it she said that's what God is calling me to do now you'll find that people who are. Dedicated to God. It doesn't take them any time and they you know but yes I was like like the fastest I ever saw someone take off jewelry was probably Sabrina. Pick on Sabrina I mean. I had to study with them and then I was expecting you know all the reaction whatever the next time she was wearing or whatever oh Dr Rob I'm serious you know it's very rare for that to happen but I have studied with people who have had you know hoop earrings that were worn every day they were part of their identity it was who they were like putting on their clothes and their you know the who they were and let me tell you something one thing that I would that I would encourage you to do as a as a future recommendation is don't make the first time they hear about jewelry when you're sitting down to talk to them preparation for baptism I learned that the hard way you know all of a sudden they're like you know broadsided you're in a one on one meeting. And it's really dumb I have booklets that I give them ahead of time if it's an evangelistic meeting I bring up an evangelistic meeting I do a baptismal class with many people there and I share in the baptismal class then when we meet personally they've heard it they've had something to look through and now they may not have done anything about it yet but now I can speak to them without them feeling shell shocked by what they're hearing you understand I'm saying so the more they can do that the better but let me just take a moment and share with you what I tell them when I take someone to that top you mind first of the Chapter two this is the first I go directly to first of the top chapter two and I try to this in five minutes someone speaks super super fast bursts of the Chapter two beginning with Verse. Eight. Or seventy two and verse eight says I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting in like manner also that the women adorn themselves in what type of apparel modest apparel at that point I'll talk about modesty in a general sense this means that Scripture teaches that we there is a limitation to what how we dress we should not be flaunting our especially those parts of our bodies that are sensual. Through clothes that are too revealing or too tight or whatever the case might be we need to be mindful of the fact that Scripture tells us that we need to dress in modest apparel but it goes on it says with propriety and moderation OK now if you have the King James it's got the same face in this word which is pretty cool work but anyway propriety in moderation so dress modestly with propriety appropriateness and moderation OK now. The next part of the text is going to tell us what dressing modestly with propriety propriety and moderation is and what it isn't so the very next part says not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing now I always make a point of saying you know we're talking braided hair here the word translate Brit here it it was talking about an elaborate hairstyle not a simple braid takes five minutes this is something that's clearly from the context to draw attention and it was something that in many cases at that time was you know we've been with jewels and what have you we have historical accounts of some of that that we could talk about but for now the center stand I don't believe the Buy was here talking about simple braid but it does mention gold or pearls and then costly clothing and it uses the specific words two words that are very important not with now if I said to you. Let's say I said to the waiter at a restaurant I'd like an omelet but not with onions or peppers and and he comes back and. It's got some onions and peppers and I say. I'm sorry I think it was a mistake or my arm and I said not with onions or peppers I know that's why I didn't give you very much what would you say. So in any common use of the language not with means. Not with any. And what is the text this is scripture what is the text. Not with gold or pearls or caustic and now here's the challenge. Notice that hair and clothing both have an adjective that tells you when they move from being appropriate to being approached inappropriate when they move from being appropriate to being immodest the hair is a certain type of hair it's translated braided but it's some type of elaborate style right the clothing is what kind of clothing cost the clothing it's not saying that you're immodest if you wear clothing you're only a modest if you wear costly clothing now does it tell you what price the clothes are allowed to be and what price the clothes must not be know so on these areas all we can do is educate the principles but when it comes to gold our pearls are there any adjectives before those words No because it's simply saying that anything that we adorn ourselves with that it is has the only object is to attract attention is by nature according to the text immodest. It even goes on to say not with gold or I'm sorry. Braid hair or gold or pearls across the clothing but which is proper for women professing godliness with good works what is another word for a woman who professes godliness. A Christian woman right. So this is saying that it's proper for a woman professing God this or a Christian woman to adorn herself of good works and by contrast it is not proper for a Christian woman to wear jewelry. That's what the text is telling us now it's not it would be one thing if this was the only place we read it but if we went and looked at first Peter chapter three you would find that Peter does the same thing he compares the outward adorning in the inward adorning and shows them contrast in one another one is the outward adorning Let not your dormant be that outward adorning and then he says but let it be the meek and quiet spirit hidden person of the heart right and it contrasts character with extra Lindora Ning and says that they they contradict one another and then you get to John the apostle in the Book of Revelation and he illustrates exactly what Paul and Peter said in the two churches of Revelation Revelation Chapter twelve is talking about the Christian Church the true and pure church and when he describes the pure church what is she wearing. The sun the moon and the stars what we call the sun moon the stars that would all be what kind of light. Natural light and in the Bible sometimes it has a short way of saying the sun moon stars you know what is the heavens. You know what it says in the Bible also says The heavens declare the glory of God here we have a picture of the church being clothed with the glory of God and if you do a little study in Scripture such as Exodus thirty three and thirty four you find that the glory of God is his character the pure woman is clothed with the natural light of God the character of God is there any artificial adornment on the pure woman of Revelation twelve and. Now you go to Revelation seventeen and you have the harlot woman now by the word harlot you probably get the idea that this church. Is not the pure church this church is an unfaithful church and when you just read the description of the unfaithful church how much of the sun moon and stars do you see on the on faith which are. And what do you see. Gold pearls and precious stones and purple and scarlet costly of. The it's an exact illustration of what Peter and Paul saw and how much. Then should we mingle the two Well if you look at the pure church she was clothed with the glory of God and where no war no artificial adornment. You look at the unfaithful church she had no character of God by which to attract others so all she could do was adore her selves with with things to draw attack traction to her external self. But really besides the clear teaching in the New Testament there is one strong reason why we have Seventh Heaven is to follow the Protestant principle because this is something that we are not we didn't come up with but many Protestants have just been swallowed up by culture and of change their tune on but the Protestant principle of modesty in dress including of standing for the wearing of jewellery and that is if you look remember the story of Jesus when they cast lots for his robe and his gold chain remember that no you don't remember that. You remember the robe but you don't remember the gold chain you know why. Because he didn't wear one and we would look at it a little strange if he did. Because Jesus was meek. And lowly in hearts and he wanted to be approachable by anyone of any class any person and a Seventh Day Adventist and as Bible believers we want to be like James and that's why we hold the position we do now you share with someone those simple things and I'm not opposed to going to Genesis and Exodus and showing how in the Old Testament when they turned back to God they took off their jewels they buried them etc And there's a chapter in the deception handbook that goes through the whole jewelry topic. Well you want to do that right before. I do always finish by talking about the wedding band and I explained to them first why I did not wear a wedding band and I explained that you know when I looked at it I said I had a wedding band I used to wear waiting there but when I started looking at it I said you know the wedding band is a symbol and we make exception for functional pieces of jewelry. And some people view that symbol as functional but me personally just wanting to be. You know careful in obeying God I said well you know it's really not don't use it it's not functional it's symbolic you know we're going to put symbolic things on the class ring and Grandma's necklace because she loves me and you know whatever you know I'm just afraid that opens the door so the main thing to me is I don't want to be a stumbling block to anyone and so I don't need it and my wife and I don't wear them but having said that in the seventh heaven of church we recognize that there are some who view it as obligatory as a symbol of virtue you read the seven that was church manual and it will state that So in essence what it's saying is they view it as functional OK. So I will tell them that if you choose that you can conscientiously wear a simple band then. We will not hinder you from becoming a some of the evidence for doing that because you viewing it as a functional piece but if you do view it as functional conscientiously then it only makes sense if it's not for adornment that you would not adorn it and so I would sell them very plainly that I would not feel comfortable with your commitment to scripture if you are taking advantage of that functional piece in adorning it with jewels and so really if you're going to make that commitment baptism including the wearing of a wedding band then it really needs to be a simple modest band that's not adorned. That's the position of the world church even though practice is totally different course you know you go to California you know you wear whatever you want you know some places you know and I've gone into churches as a pastor with people who are active leaders who were big diamond rings and I didn't kick them out and I didn't you know get them out of office or whatever people are in different places and in some places you have to use discretion and so what I did was I educated you know I preach from the pulpit and I gave reasons and I gave them room and space it's not an area that once people are in that we. Do anything disciplinary for anything like that but we do see it as an area of subtle backsliding that we want to educate on but when someone's making their first commitment to become a Seventh Day Adventists they need to agree with what some of them is believe and teach and so that's why we hold to that position if you want to know all that in one little package you read the chapter in the disciples of him book called The beauty of modesty and it will walk through that whole thing because that's basically what's in there. All right now if you're if you're clear about that you know with them. When you're giving that study. They're going to know what the position is and you're going to do it in a way that they see Scripturally what the decision is what you don't want to do is be the seventh heaven to think that the only reason that we don't wear jewelry is because Ellen White said so. Less You can see it in Scripture you're not ready to share it with someone. But but let me be clear with you all when the Bible says not with it means not with and you don't need to give a symbolic you know all whatever rationale because it simply says it in the text and then once you see the evidence in the text then you can give reasons for why you think this modesty and humility is a good principle and those types of things don't make that your main reason it's like when people say you know God could never be forever and ever because he's a just God and he's a merciful God over well that's all true but that's not going to be reason enough for someone to stop believing in an ever burning hell it wouldn't be me if I was about to believe I say Oh well that may sound all good but I want to know what the Bible says so you show them in the Bible that it's not all those things and then you tell them and it only makes sense that it's not all those things and you share with them the reasons why principles give the Bible then give the Brits are the spring weather heaven thank you so much for this time we've had to talk about the real decision process the the personal interaction the things that really make someone turn from death to life in terms of our influence I pray Lord that we will each one remember that the Word of God is the only place where our power rests but that our ability to reach the heart and to lead people to decisions is something that you've called us to have and so bless each person here as they put it into practice is our prayer it's. 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