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A Light Was Kindled- Part 3

C. Raymond Holmes

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C. Raymond Holmes

Pastor, missionary, retired seminary professor, and author

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  • June 19, 2017
    10:00 AM
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Let's pray Father we're so thankful to be here or whole tankful to be a part of this chart worth so we're so thankful for your grace and mercy and for your healing power and we pray that your Holy Spirit would be here this morning to bless us and to help us understand and see your truth in Jesus' name amen. When we ended yesterday I was. Mentioning that attempts are being made today by a command in cols zealots to reverse the course of Protestant history and actually on do the past 500 years rather than continue to shine the light that was lifted in Whitman Bergin 1517 and as Ellen White was intended to increase. In brightness to the close of time I was so thrilled to read that statement by Mrs White because I have been to the I have believed for a long time that the Reformation is not over. And never was intended to be over why not because the issue is the same today. That it was 500 years ago all. God's people and the world need to hear again losers great reading testimony when he said My conscience is captive to the Word of God. And by the way there are some historical revisionists that even dulled whether he said that and the reason they doll it it's is because they wish he hadn't said it. But fortunately there were a number of people present at the time that Roald Dahl and his words on that great declaration My conscience is captive to the Word of God rested the Protestant faith Alan White says referring to Luther 1 man opposed to the mightiest powers on Earth. 1 man. Great controversy 117 when she refers to the mightiest powers on earth she's referring to both secular and ecclesiastic power and by the way when you read in detail the history of the Reformation it wasn't all pleasant on the Protestant side either. I mean there were people that were being executed by the Roman Catholic authorities for their faith and there were also people executed among the Protestants by Protestants for their phase. The radical reformers or some of them were called Evan Gelett calls so it wasn't a very pleasant time either. And why I'll cover 311517 is the date when the life was kindled almost 3 years later on June 15th 1520 Pope Leo of the 10th issued his condemnation of a loser. It was titled In the Latin Explorer J. Domenici arise all Lord and judge the like cause a wild boar has invaded the vineyard arise all Peter arise all Paul that's to wait began and Luther was given 60 days by the pope. To submit to Papal authority. And to recant or he would be declared and now some are cursed and excommunicated from the church and a letter to the Elector Frederick of Saxony secular authority. Saxony was the province where the University of what was located. The pope referred to Luther as a son of iniquity and those scabby sheep and ordered the elector that if Luther persists the pope. In his madness to quote take him captive notice the Pope ordered the secular authority the Elector of Sex and the to take and captives soul summoned by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles the 5th who was the major secular authorities. To appear at the diet of warms on September 7th $1521.00 that simple mom the son of a minor peasant minor. Thought can you imagine a picture in your mind. Stud. Before the Emperor and the representatives of the papacy and he stood there all alone to answer for his faith with nothing to sustain him but the Word of God It was 1 of those divine moments in history. And loser was not intimidated by the fact that he stood before the Emperor and the Papal Representatives but he was overwhelmed by as a truth that he and the Emperor were bulls answerable to God and he defended himself admirably answering every charge. With reference to the Scriptures but it wasn't enough because and for Charles the 5th was descended from a long line of Catholic monarchs and furthermore politically he needed the goodwill of the pope and sold the Emperor's edict was this quote Luther is to be regarded as a convict dead heretic when the time is up $21.00 days no 1 is to harbor him his followers also are to be condemned. As books are to be eradicated from the memory of man's. Unquote Now what was it that brought a brought brought down upon the. Old man the full ecclesiastical power of the papacy as well as the temporal power of the Emperor. While it all began in the August Indian cloister at Wittenberg with Luther's personal search for forgiveness and his discovery of the Gospel that had been buried under centuries of ecclesiastical tradition and when he found the good news the inevitable consequence was the peeling away from of all of those traditions like you peel away the layers of the nonunion he had become a professor of theology at the University of what burg but his theology did not begin with books or with reflection on the reflections of others but with his own personal search for peace with God He had a very sensitive conscience and he and he felt that he couldn't satisfy God's standards of right just once even though he was altered really busy and productive preparing lectures and teaching classes. And were duly. He was experiencing a turmoil of guilt and he tried every resource that was available. By church tradition in order to find relief from the turmoil. He tried good works and he discovered that he could never do enough to make himself worthy he sought the merits of the so-called Saints and he ended with dolls that they could help him at all he tried penance going so far as to scourge him self with the with the whip and penance required that the sinner confess all wrongdoing and seek absolution from a priest so he confessed. Frequently sometimes many times a day he went to the priest to confess sometimes he confessed was a priest for up to 6 hours drove the priest crazy. You see every sin in order to be absolved had to be confessed so the soul must be searched memory ransacked motives sprawled and sometimes when he was in confession he would review his whole life and then hearing that he had forgotten something important he would start all over again and his problem was not whether his sins were big or small but was or what but whether they had been adequately confessed that was his problem he worried that he had not remembered them all and because he hadn't remembered them they were they were an come to us and so he thought there those sins are still condemning me. And he was deathly afraid that his memory protected his eagle he was frightened because even after 6 hours of confession he could still think of something that had escaped his memory can you imagine the mental torture he went through he had become his own accuser and he was relentless the church had taught him that in order for sins to be forgiven every 1 of them must be diligently confessed what was the problem in order to be confessed the sentence must be recognized and remembered. If they're not recognized and remembered they cannot be confessed and if they are not confessed they cannot be forgiven is a and so slowly Luther begun to realize that the whole penitential system fails because it is concerned with particularly sins rather than with the sinful nature of the Center for those people who were troubled by sins the church offered forgiveness screw the penitential system the ministry of priests and the mass but that forgiveness was contingent upon conditions that laws are falling to be on the tangible fasting and prayer didn't help it love God he was told. But how how can you love a God that was seen as an angry judging damning comes so many fire and so he fled from what he perceived to be the angry Son of God to the merciful mother of God but that didn't work either and so he began to wrestle with 2 alternatives 1 either God is capricious changeable and the fate of human beings is unpredictable in other words God cannot be relied upon. And whatever will be will be that we call fatalism. That's 1 alternative that he had the 2nd 1 was God is malicious and human destiny is already determined. In other words. The Lost are lost whatever they do and the saved are saved no matter what they do and that and it up being referred to was double predestination. Which even some later Protestants fell into and want me to repeat that God is a malicious and human destiny is already determined because the last are lost whatever they do and the saved are saved no matter what they do so you have double predestination. And so he cried out I wish I had never been born love God he says I hate him I wish it was at that point in his spiritual agony done another divine moment to happen Johan forms stop it's who was the vicar of the Augustinian order appointed him to be a teacher preacher and a consular of sick souls stop it's felt that Luther would be helped by the demands of teaching I was wise and of all things made him Professor of Bible I think I mentioned yesterday and stop it's had no idea of the ultimate consequences of that appointment. When you say that God used stop it's I would. And so very slowly in his agonizing search Luther begun to realize that it that it's the nature of the human being not is corrupt and that it is the whole person that is in need of forgiveness to focus on particular sins only leads to dispair. It is de inner nature of man that needs to be changed transformed and he began to see God as a god of love and for him the avenging Christ became a re deeming Christ and it was Luther's meditation on the cross that convinced him that God is neither capricious nor malicious 1 phrase. From dear Paul as he called him was enough to lift his own spiritual burden and it was the spark that kindled the life of the Reformation the right just or the just shall live by face Romans 117 and delay chanst 3011 but just right just shall live by faith at that moment he had experienced a new birth he was a changed man the power was in the word and that kind of good news has to be shared with others. He could not keep silence. Faith is not an achievement but a gift a gift that comes through the hearing and study of the Word of God and this is the mission of the Church such good news has to be shared with others Ellen White says that its rays should extend to the uttermost parts of the earth and increase in brightness to the close of time that mission has not ended and Luther writes like this he says A-C. said I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole of scripture took on a new meaning this passage of Paul became to me a gate to heaven and so it's no wonder that justification by faith alone the change the heart of Luther's theology what came after that was everything that came after was a sharpening and an application of that and his as I mentioned yesterday his intention was the Rini forming of the church. The restoration of up a stolid Christianity and that was a noble goal to reform the church would you agree. Yes. But it didn't happen. Why not because the church would not yield to the truth of the word that the loser have uncovered. And soul the wild boar was kicked out by the pope. His German translation of the Bible was burnt. As well as his own writing and loser discovered in the process. That an apostate church cannot be reformed it will not be reformed. Why not think about that because if the Bible is rejected in favor of such things as human reason tradition culture which is the big temptation today follow culture there is no basis for genuine reformation a long life. Called Loser a champion of truth. And so having uncovered the core of the Biblical faith Luther and the other reformers began to peel away the layers of tradition and by doing that threatened the power of the institutional church over the lives of the people that was what the problem was as far as the papacy was concerned the pretension Zaw the church that rested on the sacraments the priesthood the mass and the primacy of the pope were all exposed as false 1st of all were 5 of the 7 Catholic sacraments established not by Christ but by the tradition of the church and if we're saved by grace through faith then these are no longer needed as exclusive channels of grace the removal of confirmation as a sacrament and extreme unction as a sacrament that is annoying ting of the dead are people that are dying. The elimination of those reduced to control of the church over us and over death and the elimination of penance confession to an absolution by a priest certain to control of the priesthood over the human conscience God alone absolves people of sin. And he does that because of the cross of Christ. And the elimination of ordination as a sacrament demolished the caste system of the priesthood and opened the way for the renewal of the biblical priesthood of all believers next was the sacrifice of the mass during which the bread on the wine supposedly actually become the Body and Blood of Christ it's called the Doctrine of the of transubstantiation the actual substance of the bread and wine is trying to form changed into something else by the words of our other by the priest when the way for is elevated and the chalice is elevated in the math and the priest for form the miracle it still goes on of reenacting the Calvary sacrifice every day by exercising the power supposedly conferred upon him by the sacrament of boarded nation. But the Bible says that the death he died he died to sin once once for all. Doesn't have to be repeated every day on the altar of the church Romans $610.00 the difference between clergy and laity is rooted right here as was also disappearing or a T. of the church over the state no layman the king or emperor can exercise kind of power that the church trying for it so yes a priest may offer a center a piece of bread. But the priest cannot give the sinner the gift of faith which is the inevitable corollary of the rightness shall live by faith was disappearing or a T. of the Roman church was destroyed for ever. The wild boar. As the pope referred to Luther destroyed the illusion of papal supremacy for half of Europe. And the fundamental issue became Christ versus Antec rights you see while Luther found Christ in the Bible on the basis of what he learned from the Bible he fall and anti-Christ in the church and he identified and to Christ as the papal system he focused his study on the little horn and Daniel Chapter $7.00 and $8.00 which led him to the Innes capable conclusion that the papal system is the anti-Christ power Christ not Peter is the rock upon wished upon which rests the true charge and in his treatise and titled The Babylonian captivity of the church it was published and $1520.00 Luther rolled for everybody to read this the papacy is in truth and nothing else than the Kingdom of Babylon and of the very and to Christ on hope and so with his study of Bible prophecy completed and with that conviction in his heart. Luther was standing fearlessly before Emperor Charles the 5th and the Papal representatives at the diet of warms on April 18th 1521 but no discussion of his view was permitted and stead he was pressured to repudiation and revoke his view and he courageously refused on the side I tend not and I will not repent because my conscience is captive to the Word of God I am conquered by the Holy Scriptures here I stat God help me that was the issue then and it is the issue today 500 years later and 1531 over 20 years after the Reformation He wrote quote not until I am gone Will day the papacy feel losers wait he was right of course subsequent history has proven but what about today what has happened to the Reformation. Remember Ellen White's words. Concerning the light that was kindled in Wittenberg and which was to increase in brightness to the close of time is it increasing or decreasing at the heart of the Reformation was what some have referred to as the battle between the Roman Church and the reformers for the sole authority of the Bible. Today 500 years later a battle. For soul loss rip Torah is being waged within Provest and does them and we are a part of it and that is why I hope this seminar makes vivid in your minds today we are faced with the fact that many mainline Protestant churches are in the process of abandoning the basic premise of the Reformation soul law script Torah and while that is true we need to remember that there are a lot of good people and those mainline Protestant churches but they have no idea of what is happening I meet them occasionally people that are actually members of my former. Church that I pastored and I questioned. And they don't have a clue they don't know so we've reached a point where it is it is being said that the Reformation was a mistake some are saying dud it was just your opinion of 1 man and his older and that's not true study river Reformation history and there were a lot of people. Involved in the Reformation there were many reformers not just 1 he just happened to Kendall it lighted last October and 2016 the present pope made a trip to Sweden and together with the archbishop of the Lutheran Church of Sweden shared in a joint service of commemoration of the Reformation not celebration but commemoration. Big difference. In that kind of a context we need to hear these perceptive pression words of Alan White written 130 years of Globe listen quote the experience of these noble reformers contains a lesson for all succeeding ages. In all our times that's 130 years ago in our times there is a wide deep part sure from doctrines and precepts scriptural and there is a need of a return to the great Protestant principle the Bible and the Bible ONLY as the rule of faith and duty the same unswerving adherents to the Word of God manifested at that crisis of the Reformation is the only hope of reform today Wright controversy pages 2 will 4 and 2 will 5 Now this I want to underline what what she says there. As 7th Day Adventist Christians is not only our religious heritage it is our message and mission it's our mandate today. Quote to the close of time that's why this year. Is so important and by the way the next quarter. Of next quarter Sabbath school lesson. It was on the book of Galatians. Are. By design. Yet. Now following his defense before the Emperor Charles the 5th on September 17th 5021 Luther left the city of warms intending to return to whatever and his work at the university but remember that he was under the condemnation of both the pope and the Emperor he was excommunicated from the Church declared outlawed by the Emperor and it was against the law to protect him or give him sanctuary as followers were condemned as books burned he was in danger for his life and he shrugged that danger off but Frederick the Elector of Saxony. He didn't he as far as the Emperor was concerned the whole thing was political all of the delegates attending the diet that warms both Catholics and supporters of Luther had to vote on the the Emperor's condemnation. But he didn't sign it the Emperor didn't sign it until Luther's report supporters had left warms and then he signed it on Main 6 this was an obvious political manipulation of the situation until the Emperor and the pope got what they wanted and here was a situation in which church and state united to enforce a religious decree here was a secular tribunal and trusted with a case of alleged. Religious heresy and whose judgment became law if it happened before that many times and it's happened since a union of church and state to enforce a religious law and it can happen again given the time the opportunity and the circumstance and this concept of the union of church and state and Catholic theology was called Corpus Christi on them or body of Christians and it meant the church and society were in divisible E 1. Also all it meant that the authority of the church superseded the authority of the state and to that authority of the state house to Baal unfortunately Luther himself held to Corpus Christi on them as did Alric is willingly 1 of the other reformers in Switzerland and in this Luther's reform did not go all far enough that remained for others as the Reformation developed over the decades to reject this idea of the union of church and state which ultimately led to the 1st Amendment in the Constitution of the United States and there are voices today along with change that and who are actually saying that the Constitution doesn't say what it says well the curious thing was that it was Luther his followers that had appealed his case to the Emperor and the Catholics opposed that appeal. They wanted the Emperor to refer the matter to the pope but 1 it was resolved against Luther the Catholics approved it because it affirmed for them the Catholic faith. As well as the power of the papacy. And the authority of the church the Lutherans as the followers of Luther began to be called. Opposed to because it went against them. You know what would have happened if the vote at warms had favored looser. Such an outcome would also have constituted a union of sorts between the power of the state on the power of the chart to 1 for say Protestant religious decree at any rate elector Frederick was Luther's friend wanted to protect him and he arranged to have Luther abducted on his way back to witness Burke passing through some wards his wagon was attacked by armed horsemen and with a lot of shouting and a great show of violence Luther was dragged to the ground put on a horse he was taken by around the ball rolled to the ancient Wartburg castle because and Frederick didn't want to know where Luther was hidden so that he could didn't mind knowledge of where he was and Luther spent a year there at war for. And alone he suffered from insomnia and depression and the cure he adopted was work because idleness is the devil's playground did you know that. You try insulated the New Testament into German and rolled about a dozen other books. And near the end of that year the town council in wooden Berg begged him to return deeply worried and concerned about events in Wittenberg Luther roll to elect their Frederick he said the devil is at work in this why did you say that what was going on that he considered the work of the devil has friends in Wittenberg God kept him informed that the Reformation was moving with great speed almost out of control and in his absence the leadership was in the hands of his friend and colleague Philip Mudd Langton who was a professor of Greek and another 1 by the name of Andreas Carl's that a professor of theology and 1 change was rapidly following after another prays some nuns were getting married Wian and communion was given to the people the bread was placed in their own hands when they attended communion they they went to Communion without prior confession pray just come ducted services in plain clothes and start of in Eucharistic vestments mass was no longer seen as a sacrifice German rather than Latin was used in the mass the mass for the dead was ended and unrolled been dropped in the university because students were were no longer supported by church stipends monks began to leave the cloisters Until then the Reformation had affected only the theologians of the clergy but with this kind of rapid changes. The people began to realize that the Reformation really meant something significant it was not just of debate among scholars but it influenced their daily lives and while Luther supported change like this he worried that things would get out of hand and they sure did. What comes earned him the most was that they would lose sight of the Gospel and get sidetracked on peripheral peripheral issues and the worst of it was some violence that has erupted and with the Berg against Catholic people and by the way they were called the Old Believers people with knives heads and under their cloaks invaded the church and drove out the priests stole his work troll Serow not people who were kneeling and saying the rosary altars were overturned images and pictures smashed and Luther blamed a lot of it on Carl's stud who had preached some rather inflammatory sermons while he was in Wartburg and it was Carl's stats opinion that organs and trumpets and through Kes were to be thrown out all soul and soul the elector was in a dilemma he was responsible for the peace of the you know the province and everything was going crazy he was responsible for peace on the 1 hand but as a Christian he was also concerned about the true faith he was in the dilemma he was really he was afraid that if Luther came back more riots would be incited and Luther and self would be in danger and so he told Luther you stay and work but Luther wanted to return on the did he roll to Frederick he said I cannot yield an inch to the devil. He believe that the very future of the Reformation was at stake people being people they were rioting destroying church property it's frightening the lives of priests and of people who chose to remain Catholic and that kind of behavior was not consistent with the Gospel you don't treat people like that when they don't agree with you Christian Liberty did not mean the right to threaten or harm people because of their religious beliefs he saw Luther saw that kind of behavior as rebellion against God and the 1st thing he had to do was to restore confidence in order. And so he claimed his pulpit in the class in the castle church and in a memorable sermon with a voice like honey not loud and bombastic he urged the congregation to practice love patience and consideration for others and he told the congregation which was almost a whole tone that no person can die for another person no 1 can believe for another and no 1 can answer for another every person must be persuaded and his own mind no 1 can be intimidated or call worst into belief smashing images and dragging priests all out of the church was a great blow to the principles of the Reformation Luther said. And he pleaded to give people time he said violence betrays a lack of confidence in God and he reminded them that all he had done was pray and preach the Word of God did it all he said. Through that means alone he said God dealt the papacy a mighty ball and he said let us preached the rest belongs to God Paul said to Timothy preach the word he also told him to repeal how do you rebuild it do that by preaching the word the word does the rebuke not the preacher. And he said God does more by his word alone than you and I and all the world by our united strength God lays hold upon the heart and when the heart is taken all is 1 and so it took an act of bravery to leave the protection of Wartburg and go back to what labor but it took an even greater act of bravery to admonish his own followers at such a critical moment everything that he had worked for everything the Lord had accomplished Sorel him was on the verge of being destroyed and his own life and his faith or on the line you see the Gospel is not just something to believe with the intellect but with the heart and is something to be lived those who have been justified by God's grace alone are to live as justified people. To live like Christ so his role had dramatically changed with his teaching and preaching he had been tearing down false doctrine an ecclesiastical tradition and now he must using the same means lead in the building up of a new pattern of church and society once again he faced down the devil using that powerful principle of sola scriptura to do it. It gave credibility to Luther and to the Reformation when he stuck to the Word of God to his conscience and to principles that are based on that word. He adopted Christ's method. In the way he dealt with. The riots and to Malta followed in the Reformation. All right comments. Yes or. No. Wild 1 sir was 1 of the reformers who ended up giving his life but he wasn't the only 1 there were others I haven't looked very deeply into his his life I know he was a part of it but there were others like when Billy John Calvin. Some of them were called on the Baptists some of them were called Evan Jellicoe. Some of them were called Mennonites because they followed the teachings of a man by the name of men though Simmons Simons So Luther wasn't alone he's just the 1 that lit the fire and then it spread like wildfire. And there were many different opinions. In the whole reformation movement. And that's what ended up in the development of denominations that looked at things in a little different way that emphasized 1 practice over another. She gains. New Bonds is in the city take a look at the problems with. The. Money and finances finance again the 10 inches needed money as well as you know the indulgences it's a real nice to hold the drive up that financial resource now that do things along cafes but that was very disturbing to you and all of us as stablished church it's. All good news that more needs to. Be. Rethought the mess in the trains dancers digestion didn't dance to the other team for a long time thinking oh it's all just kill them down. Now what happened to read the line in the head this council he he he. Really dramatic he really only type this is mild what. It is used on it which. You know all things got so bad in various places like for example straws Boruc and. Geneva with respect to the problems to differences and they were tempted also to unite with the power of the state and you had Protestants persecuting Protestants and even burning Protestants and reach the point where an England won the Reformation got to England you had 1 monarch who was a Catholic whole burned the Protestants and on the other moderate monarch who was a Protestant. ARC a Catholic will burn Protestants on the Protestant will burn Catholics that's the way it was terrible a lot of people don't know that. 1 of the best sources of I know of is the book that I recommended on Monday. Some of you didn't get that I suppose if you weren't here on Monday. Pardon Now I understand that day B.C. is going to have some copies let me get it and. CHARICLEA to you again. The title of it is the Reformation and the advent movement there is a lot of information in here relative to some of the questions that you have are already raised the author's name is W. L. Emerson published by Orion publishing all our i O. and located in the Ukiah California Copyright 2001 there's a lot of good information in here OK someone else. Is there is what we need a case she has. The spirit reservations are at is church. Of the protestant. This is. While I know that we don't participate in the oficial active Menocal movement but I do know that we have official representatives on committees or. Groups that are doing things. Even in the government you know with religious dealing with religious issues. How do you think we should so very. Clear. What is appropriate. To do things like we're doing here in this seminar expose the truth about the reformation to everybody that we can and uphold the Word of God like we should in our preaching in our teaching in our literature in our official publications and tracts and other literature that we pass out to people I almost hate to say this but in the years that I've been an admonition Minister I've discovered a lot of that when it's laymen who do not have knowledge concerning our own history the same was true when I was a Lutheran the average lay people person is ignorant of all of this because they're not being exposed to it. I want to make a comment here and I don't want to get off on this record when I was a member of the geology of ordination studies have been a map. For pines and Baltimore I was invited by elder Wilson to sit with him and I hope of others applaud. Because I have mentioned to him that yeah the minister needs to. Make a major acknowledgment of the Reformation and its effect. And so we we sat at a dinner and discussed this. I urged him I don't know if that was effective or mop up what 1 of the things I said was that every institution of learning every university every academy every Of Angeles take out rate television radio. Are Sabbath school lessons they all should have a major focus on the Reformation during this year I have no idea how far that went he agreed with me but he has to deal with people in all committees and so on but I was happy to learn the next quarter's lessons are are going to be on the book of college them and I would hope that others like Gore and. Doug Batchelor and Bradshaw and others will begin to focus on that now. You were always sure what exactly did you do to. Recruit solutions. And we have a. Church. Here. That gathers for why not well back then it was the custom them all Lutheran churches to focus on Reformation Sunday which was a closed walk over $31.00 and have special services I did every year. Now you don't even hear of them in fact I think I mentioned the other day that I asked the pastor of that small serving the church if they are planning to do anything and and he said. His response was interesting he said I have been trying to convince the local priest of we should get together. And celebrated by. This media was brought to you by audio press 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 sermon leave it W W W dot audio Verse dot org.

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