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A Light Was Kindled- Part 2

C. Raymond Holmes


C. Raymond Holmes

Pastor, missionary, retired seminary professor, and author




  • June 19, 2017
    9:00 AM
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Heavenly Father we thank you for this new day and for your grace and mercy that our new every day we pray that you would send your Holy Spirit to be with us this morning and throughout this day and bless us by means of your word and your personal care I especially ask for your annoying tinged us morning as we continue our discussion of the Reformation and its meaning for our time bless everyone that's here according to their need in Jesus name Amen. Well I guess I've reached that stage in life. 1 it's easier to sit down. While I'm talking than stand but who know if 1 we ended our session yesterday I asked a couple of questions why did God chose a period in world history known as the Middle Ages or sometimes of dark ages. Or sometimes as a medieval period why did he choose that time for the great event of the Reformation to begin and why did he chose a man by the name of Martin Luther to light the spark so we're going to talk about that a little bit the title of today's presentation is the times it's hard to imagine what the world was like and what life for the average person was like 500 years ago all that's 1 reason why I was. Looking forward to doing the research for this seminar to expose myself to what things were like back then so that's what we're going to start with this morning what was it about that time that period that in God's timing made what we call the Reformation not only necessary but inevitable. And possible there is so much historical material as you can imagine so we can only summarize. And mention a few highlights to help you get a picture in your mind of what life was like in those days you and I live out a time when the world has been getting smaller and smaller at least in our perception. For example you can leave the airport in Ironwood Michigan or near where I live early in the morning and you can land in Manila and the Philippines by nightfall that's halfway around the world and if you do that I could sudden an e-mail message to you on my i Pad that would get there in an instant long before you even would even arrive in Manila 500 years ago the world was a great unknown to most people. My wife tells me a little story she was amazed she was with a group of ladies and. Somebody had mentioned a fig tree. And she said. I don't even know what a fig tree looks like what does it and in body know what it looks like. And 1 of the ladies took off her smartphone. Here. I was a fig tree. Well way back then people had little contact beyond their immediate neighbors 100 miles was a long distance. From where I live it's 500 miles to this camp wrong exactly. And I'm still in the state of Michigan. That it takes us 6 hours of drive from our house to the bridge. And another 4 hours from the bridge to add more 10 hour drive soap 100 miles was a long way in those days especially when you had to travel by foot or on horseback 1 loser was living in a monastery he made a pilgrimage from Saxony in Germany in the year 1511 to the city of Rome and Italy he was 28 years old when I did that and that was a long distance I was much further than a 100 miles how did he get there did he take a train or a jet passage in your. Airplane. All those kind of things or demon dreamed of in those days and it's it's a long way off even today you want to go to Rome you have to take out their plane and it's a long trip anyway he walked Yes. That was a long way right through the Alps Yes a long way from Saxony to Rome and 1 reason that time was called the Middle Ages is because a new age was dawning looking back to historians looking back they gave it the title of the Middle Ages was a transitional period came in the middle of paganism and halt civilization so a new wages was dawning and it's also called the Renaissance life was changing dramatically it was an age of discovery and $1492.00 Columbus sailed west and discovered the New World and Christine how it's referred to as the new world and that of course was a major event in world history every child in school learns about Columbus and the discovery of the new world and people began to realize hey the world is much larger than we ever imagined and it was also an age of invention. For example the invention of the telescope changed the whole conception of the universe for people and a man by the name of Copernicus using that instrument came up with the idea the theoretical was no longer believed to be the center of the universe and was a planet that moved around the Sun The Sun is the center of the known universe not the earth. That was amazing discovery. The invention of gun power gunpowder changed the whole method of warfare and the impact of that just the invention of gunpowder. Can be compared with the invention of atomic weapons in the 20th century also all old certainties began to be doubted people began to question things spiritual things as well as physical things and along with that there was a search for beauty and truth that begat and that produced people like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci the great medieval artists you could still see some of their works in some of the great museums like the low in Paris I was thrilled to call there and stand in front of the Mona Lisa Michelangelo statue of David marvelous study of the ancient Greek classics began people began to intellectuals began to look into the past and out of that a spirit of criticism began to emerge that it could not be contained everything was looked at skeptically and then there was the invention of paper you know we take that so much for granted today as. We do everything with paper we write on it we blow our noses in it. But can you imagine what that was like the invention of paper up until then it was trolls made out of sometimes animal skins. And that was followed by 1 of the greatest inventions ever no movable type and printing. And $1456.00 just a century before though almost a century before the RAF revenge on John Goodman Berg printed the 1st Bible in Latin and that was a revolutionary event because now for the 1st time the average person had access to the Word of God and a lot of folks didn't know how to read and they desperately wanted to read the scriptures so they had to learn to read so the Bible was not only a great spiritual and strong meant but intellectual want they could read it and interpret it for themselves and that by the way was of a bother to the church troublesome So our new age had begun to dawn and it had a powerful intellectual and spiritual impact on just about everybody so the Middle Ages was a time of great upheaval in many ways a new age had dawned the known world had gone through the time that was depicted in number could Nazareth the dream as the iron the clay the bronze the silver of gold all together Daniel says was broken in pieces disintegration what that means Daniel to verse 35 and after the legs of iron which was the Roman Empire unil. After the legs of iron had fallen and there was disorder and fragmentation in Europe centuries of confusion and a painful search for stability followed that. And later the Emperor Charlemagne had set up a new empire on the Roman model and his greatest conquest was against a Saxon tribes of Europe in the area that eventually became known as Germany Charlemagne was determined to destroy paganism and his empire set up very harsh laws against people who refused to be baptized because by that time the Roman Catholic Church was the primary and force or of laws like that there was none of what we know of today as the separation of church and state there was instead a union in which they religious authorities used a secular power to 1 force its decrees but Charlemagne's attempt to destroy paganism failed and a new system emerged that historians call feudalism and by the 11th century new political kingdoms began to appear just like that never could never dream prophesied. And during the 131415 centuries tribes who were largely identified by language. Began to unite as what were called nation states such as Germany France Switzerland. Austria angle and Italy and Spain etc And along with this what had been a largely agrarian economy that is based on farming gave way to trade Tolman's began to grow all large cities began to develop money began to become the medium of exchange up until that time it was barter and all you could go to a market. And what did they call that there's another word I can think of hard. Commerce But I mean that exchange between people and all we did a little bit of that when we were in the Philippines and went to the marketplace part of our. Great. It's not the word I wanted to have come up with it. So anyway my wife and I would go to the market and we would Dicker that's the word I was. Sicker and I remember 1 of the Filipino. Men who was dealing with us he said. Why you Dick are you research you will never again. So as well as far as most of the people were concerned life was very hard. Most of them did not own the land that they lived on famines were common men and women worked long hours in the fields they lived in small cottage Assad this was interesting to discover with mud walls and thatched roofs. They burned a fire in the middle of the house in the middle of the floor both for heat and for cooking and a small 1 doll through a hole in the roof I wonder what happened when it rained. And when those had no glass and they would stuff the windows with straw in the winter he didn't nobody was clean by our standards today you know there was no indoor plumbing you had to dig a well with a shovel and I didn't have well diggers like we have today and drilled a hole like at our house or well as 280 feet. And $200.00 of that is in solid rock. And to drill through the rock and then 1 of they call that fraction. Fracking where you had to pump high pressure air down there to break the rock and split the rock the water would come into the well they didn't have that so you know what if they had a water source you had to go and carry it in a bucket to your off they had meager furniture the bed was a pile of straw sometimes big enough for the whole family to sleep sanitation was virtually nonexistent The streets were filled with garbage an animal manure and a lot of human manure. Food was scarce. Well diet was mostly porridge What is that like old meal like old meal. I can't stand old meals. Make me gag. It's a diet was mostly porridge and cheese and soup and pork and life expectancy was very short yeah I think the average life expectancy expectancy was around 40 years and you can imagine that infant mortality was was very high and so the idea prevailed among people that the peasants were supposed to spend their lives working for the nobility some of the mobility were kind people but a lot of others were merciless in the way De treated their peasant employees and so in Germany there was a lot of discontent there was a lot of class hatred and there was undercurrents of revolt always going on a loser was born of that class A peasant class his father whose name was Hans grew up on a farm but later in life he became a miner and like I mentioned yesterday his ambition for his son was that he would become an attorney and move from the peasant class to a higher class a more wealthy class of society on slaughter was all rugged man he was rough but he was devolved he was a sincere Catholic Christian. But old German Paganism was somehow blended with their with their beliefs for example they believed that elves faeries witches were everywhere evil spirits were were the cause of storms and floods and pestilence and sickness. And there was a lot of superstition you can imagine. 1 day in July in 1505 a young lad by the name of Martin Luther was walking along a road 1 suddenly the sky darkened and he was stunned by a crashing storm and a bolt of lightning actually struck him down and as that happened he cried out Santan help me and I will become a Hmong. So the man who later in life repudiated the monastery or saint of the saints repudiated saints as a young boy called on 1 to help him. And a moment of crisis and the man who later would repudiation monasticism promised saint and that he would become a monk if he would help it so that loyal son of the Roman Church later shattered its very structure and he even identified the Popes with and to Christ and as far as most people were concerned the church was a stabilizing force and that time of great upheaval. And change and so the church became the absolute judge of human destiny everybody believes now can you imagine the kind of control that those kind of beliefs pagan beliefs mixed with Christian beliefs can you imagine the kind of control that that gave over the Roman Church of the Middle Ages but. The church had become corrupt. How did that happen between the time of the Apostles in the early church. And that of the Middle Ages or also called the Dark Ages How did that happen Listen to this it's a rather lengthy quote from great controversy page 49 and 50 she says almost imperceptibly in remember I said I've always been fascinated by her choice of language she captures the essence of things almost imperceptibly the customs of he's an ism found their way into the Christian Church the spirit of compromise and come form a T. was constrained or restraint for a time by the fierce persecution of which the church and doored on her paganism but as persecutions ceased and Christianity entered the courts and palaces of kings she that is the Church laid aside the humble simplicity of Christ and His Apostles. For the pomp and pride of pagan priests and rulers and in place of the requirements of God she substituted human theories and tradition the nominal conversion of Constantine the Emperor caused great rejoicing and the world cloaked with a form of bright just ness walked into the church noticed the world walked into the church know the work of corruption rapidly progressed paganism while appearing to be vanquished. Became the Conqueror our spirit controlled the church the spirit of paganism control the church our doctrines ceremonies and superstitions or incorporated into the faith and worshippers of the professed followers of Christ now in my opinion nobody has summarized it better than that nobody when you get a chance read that again and read it slowly and pause and reflect on it it's it's fantastic but it's all accurate Now what was it as had been compromised in order to do this pagan eyes of the church she tells us people had to be kept quote in ignorance of the Scriptures. She says quote the Bible would exalt God. And place finite men and their true position therefore it sacred truths must be concealed and suppressed. Right controversy page $51.00 that's why it happened the pagan izing of the church the authority of the rebuild word of God for the face and life of believe or was gradually replaced by the authority of the Roman Church and that authority that stood in the Pope's the bishops the priests and all of the rituals of the church that had developed was absolute For example it was so absolute that if you were convicted of heresy. The punishment was death these are by drowning or by being burned at the stake solves and some people were put to death that way of the church didn't do it take declared them guilty but they used a secular authorities to do the execution Now it's true not only by the possession of faith and salvation to be attained but the church had reached a position where it claimed the own to be the only repast atory of the true faith so the Bible which was supposed to be in the hands in all of the believers was suppressed and the role of the priest was decisive for personal salvation and you if you could you could not attain salvation apart from the mediation of the priest by the way. I don't have this in my notes but it just occurred to me this is why the sanctuary message is so important. Because as Catholicism develop the ministry of Christ before the throne of God in the heavenly sanctuary was gradually transferred to earth in the rituals in which the priest conducts the mass every Sunday and in the process changes of bread into the true body of Jesus and wine into the True Blood of Jesus in what is called the sacrifice of the mass that's why the sanctuary message is so important for us to mull anyway. Role of the priest was decisive for personal salvation and the bishop of Rome had become the central figure of religious authority now that took a long time over centuries and the pope had become more powerful than any ruler in Europe and for the ordinary person that power on the authority of the pope was awesome and gentle talking is hard work makes you a sweaty. So. It was a time of great spiritual darkness and the church which God had designed to shine the light of His truth into darkness as had passed because it Psalms had instead made the darkness even darker and remember that on money Kaname had developed throughout the world. And the finances of the church became as time went by involved in that medium of exchange in other words the church needed money to function but unfortunately the papacy 1 bankrupt and they had to raise money how could such funds be gotten from the local churches and the faithful people. The most lucrative method was called indulgences that was by the way the primary reason that motivated Luther to write to nail his 95 seats is on the wall of the castle door and Wittenberg castle church door and was a brilliant idea when you think about it that played on the superstitions and fears of the people at that time there was nothing wrong with the cause for example a lot of the money was used to support hospitals what's wrong with that to build bridges to build churches St Peter's Cathedral and roll music and see it today was built largely from the profits of set the sale of indulgences. But it was a diabolical method the idea was that Christ and all the saints had more merits than people needed for their salvation they had here's been I said wrong they had more merits and they personally needed for their salvation so there was a there was how should I say it extra merits of a level. And these surplus merits were kept in a tribe jury by God and could be transferred to sinners at the discretion of the pope by his authority and power they could even be translated transferred to the to the dead who are in purgatory by the way which is a pagan idea the thing and stripped her of all that can't find it up there but this is what they believed what they taught and so that was the pit of my eyes by a priest by the name of types all who came to Germany and he sold salvation and it was reported that he would say as soon as the coin in the coffer rings the soul from purgatory Springs. So you could if your you had loved ones that have died and they believed you didn't go right to heaven when you die like a lot of do a lot of people do. Of to Purgatory which was prepare a Tory to heaven and it should purgatory that the dead were purged of their sinfulness and you could you could buy merits of the saints these extra merits to provide more merits for your dead loved ones now with all that superstition and pagan thinking you can imagine it worked but Luther saw that devilishness of that was based on false foot none of it on the authority of the Bible neither purgatory nor indulgences or buying merits of the saints for your dead loved ones none of that is supported by Scripture and unbelievable as it sounds today. This was possible because the people had been kept in ignorance of the Scriptures and that's precisely why the invention of movable type and the printing press was such a momentous event what was behind it all well Luther identified the source and his Great him a mighty fortress as our ancient fall whose craft and power are great the Prince of Darkness grim but he said we tremble not for him and we will not fear for God has has willed his truth to triumph through us. I love that him I'm I'm so glad that it's in our Hindle. Now isn't over dramatise ation to say that in the middle of the beginning of the 16th century it was a major spiritual crisis isn't over dramatize ation to say that I don't think so. Now you see it at constituted the corruption of God's truth concerning the basic human condition of sin and its resolution the very essence under nature of the gospel of salvation was at stake John 316 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in him as some has. Everlasting life will not perish Jesus said to his church you are the light of the world you that means you and me you are the light of the world people don't light a lamp and put it under a basket but on the stand and it gives light to all in the House and the same way left your life shine before others. You know. Not not everybody understands the implications of that you are the light of the world. But some people did and before Luther was ever born to seeds of the Reformation had been sold there were people before Luther that were beginning to study the scriptures and the truth was beginning slowly to emerge Ecclesiastes is 3 Verse 1 says For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven a time to keep silence and the time to speak verse of person. The point is God God would act and deal with this situation and looking back on all of that it's obvious that the time to speak had come. Why what was at stake what was the basic fundamental issue God's truth was to issue the Word of God the Bible and if that's lost everything is lost that's why it's so critical. If that light does not shine if you and I do not let that light shine through us utter darkness prevails. And God will not allow that he will not John 151 of my favorite Bible verses says the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it because as the life shines that light the light of his word as that light shines the darkness cannot overcome it as long as it tries. God will see toilet that that light keep shining and by the way that's that's that's what's behind the whole idea of the remnant church that is precisely why the remnant church exists so the Reformation had to happen that's why Ellen White said as I read yesterday at Wittenberg a light was kindled who's raised should extend to the uttermost parts of the earth and which was still in courageous and brightness to the close of time General Wright controversy page 126 salt 500 years ago October 31 1517 it was time to speak. Who would do the speaking who would kindle the life as I mentioned many voices had been heard slowly and many other voices began to be heard. After a little tear beyond the Luther as we'll see as we go along but how did God choose to light the flame and what would be the spark so we start talking about the man. Oh yes today I said that I don't have time to answer any questions. But 1 of you came up and spoke to me today so I'm going to close a little early in case you would like to ask a question or make a comment. But before I do that I want to begin talking about the man by the way I want to say to you that Luther is still 1 of my spiritual hero. You as you'll see as we go along Luther was not right on everything on some things he was very wrong but on a lot of things he was very right and God used him mightily and powerful e at that time. And we need to acknowledge that and as I was becoming an Adventist I was all. So happy to read the chapters in the great controversy on the Reformation powerful chapters and she says very little negative things about water although there are things that could be said that are negative but she prefers to focus on the positive. And I like that anyway in the time to speak had come. And the light was kindled that happened on October 31 1517 because Luther had recognized by an intense study of Romans and Galatians that the very gospel itself was being abused and distorted by the church of all all of. Instruments I've often thought what would what was he thinking in O'Hare he was a loyal some of the chart given his life to monasticism but the director of the monastery stop its asked him to to have classes on the bible of all things. So he started to research the scriptures in order to prepare to teach the Bible and can you imagine how he's what happened to law we began to think and feel as he discovered things in the scriptures that were in contradiction to what the church was teaching the church that he loved so he began to prepare a list of grievances and rolled them out and then nailed them to the door of the church and what Berg which was the practice in those days if you want to have a debate about something this is what you did. And. They came to be called a 95 theses because there was a list of 95 propositions that were intended for the purpose of calling for a debate let's talk about this let's discuss this his goal was to reforms a church he had no intention of leaving the church his motive was to help to reform it to bring it back in in line with the Scriptures and he wanted to do that by exalting the Word of God And when you really think about it that took a lot of guts. On his father who was me anyway who was a nobody. A mock a simple priest. And as I already mentioned Life think the spark was the practice of indulgences and when he began analyzing that he began to question the power of the pope for example it began to think if the pope truly had the power to release souls from purgatory why in the name of God's grace and mercy did he not freeze them. That's what bothered Luther and then secondly he discovered that God's Word declares that forgiveness and peace comes to an individual by grace alone sole law karateka screw face alone so low fi day in the last that's what Romans says were justified by grace through faith and he also began to realize that if you don't have that assurance and you're lost even though the pope might absolve your sins a 1000000 times or of the priest you're still lost if you don't have that faith assurance that was the fundamental issue the power of the word as opposed to the power of the pope and Luther had no idea what he started on October 31 1517 it is 1 of the have a discussion but as it as Ellen White puts it so marvelously a lifeless kindled that day that was to shine through the whole world and the did. It's supposed to a loser was born on November 10 1483 in the city of I easily been I better shut up but in this economical age of all hours not much attention is given to either that or Oct 31 reformation we when I was a loser minister we used to celebrate Reformation every year. And I don't do it anymore. We used or used to be articles in the paper notices of special services I looked in the Ironwood roll global local paper last year the year before the year before that nothing in fact I asked the pastor who is now pastoring to church that I pastor before I came to Andrews I said are you folks on the Celebrate the Reformation I just don't see anything in the paper of Allah and he said Well I would love to he said I've been trying to persuade persuade everybody including the Catholics that we should all get together and celebrate. I wish you could have been there to see my face. Well. All right. Any comments or questions. I think you should liberate me. Some of you weren't here yesterday you didn't hear that there was a mob amounts meant in our local paper. That the newly elected bishop of the loose room Senate and involving the Upper Peninsula of the Evan Jellicoe Lutheran Church in America as I used to be a part of is going to be installed as a bishop in the Roman Catholic cathedral in Marquette and October and it also says that the presiding bishop of the E.L.C. a the whole church is going to participate it doesn't say that the per presiding bishop is going to install a new bishop but just participate that's all it says but do you begin to wonder who that is going to do the installing of the loser of the ship the Catholic bishops now there are 2 Lutheran churches the biggest 1 is called the Missouri Senate what's headquarters in St Louis and the other 1 is the Wisconsin Synod and they are the probably the most conservative Lutheran churches and neither 1 of those is a member of the Lutheran World Federation so they're not a part of that you know by the way. The United Methodist Church in the United States has recently elected. I think I want to make sure and correct same to. Anyway I won't say what I was going to say because I got a check but the United Methodist Church has voted to approve same sex marriage and 1 of the results of that is that the biggest 1 of the biggest United Methodist churches in the United States and I think it's in Mississippi is leaving a denomination. So things are happening we need to be alert something had been took cultural pressure Yeah. Sure you are in the. Barn with special wild horses Oh it was. A season of all story. Too well the 2 of them are approaching 100 days. For some are. Possible ers are just a dance. Yes. We have everyone to rock. That's all we want our purposes are just and a field of us just know that that's called the installment plan. Of the Solar Impulse yeah today's interview for the 4th is May of 2 robbers came up out of a good boy. And we don't care. What he gets to participate in chess so it's best to be supportive of justice after the fact of them their problems are just. Off the job you'll need the park for what we've done. Half of all part of the fall. And possible well here's a virus to spar. Well over a short like Suspect 2 of our free. I am never sure you're less than me. By. Their evil yeah life. Female On that note has been less R.K.. This year oh here. If we are to any minute. Now if we don't go along with that what's going to happen or going to be accused of being unjust unkind pardon. Legal ist. Bigots. Oh yeah we need to be ready for that we stay true to the word no as God said the word says God so loved the world the southern Clode everybody the. Soul of the light shines through us we are to love people even I hate to say this because we're all sinners but even centers and all as our church door open for everybody to come in and. Worship and hear the word. And join the fellowship of God's people yes but the line is drawn when it comes to baptism because we believe the Bible teaches that when you receive Jesus as your Savior and he comes to dwell within the Holy Spirit begins the process of sanctification girls in holiness and righteousness and godly living that is in harmony with His Word or in other words we're not just forgiven for past sins we are also prepared and powered for victory over san. Luis U S. S A N A What you so choose. To do you. Put a big sign on the door that says men and women. Somebody asked me once about that transgender business and. It all by the way I just heard on the news the other day of what a person has come out a scholar quote unquote who identifies himself with a hippopotamus. Now this goals beyond transgender. Took trance species. I mean come on come on. I don't want to make fun. Of people. Anyway somebody asked me about that once and how do you know the difference you know whether you're male or female and I answered kind of humorously I shouldn't do that I guess but I said take your clothes off and stand in front of the mirror and you'll know. But it's strange it's a gender is identified today by a lot of folks not. Biologically But in terms of identification what I think about myself. Dr Phil mills have the best response I've ever heard to that somebody commented about. Bruce Jenner who had. Surgery and is now known as Kaitlyn Have you seen him on her on T.V. as a response was he is what he was when he was born. What he is now as a mutilated male. He was right. It's. A whole point is we're living in a crisis time just like. They faced in the 16th century when the Reformation was born we have issues that we have to deal with as a church and the question is are we going to be thrown for the work. Or do we followed the way people think. Or a way they feel the way we feel that's an issue it was the issue then it's a stain it's the same issue tonight oh boy I got to go. Somebody say a quick prayer please. Just. Call. My. Church. Your. Sees me. This media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermons lead to visit W W W audio verse or.


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