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A Light Was Kindled- Part 5

C. Raymond Holmes

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C. Raymond Holmes

Pastor, missionary, retired seminary professor, and author

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  • June 19, 2017
    12:00 PM
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Heavenly Father we thank you for this week we thank you that your Holy Spirit has been present as our teacher we thank you for the church and for the mission that you have given to the 7th Day Adventist Church. And we pray that we would be found faithful and that we would faithfully stand on the Word of God until the end in Jesus' name amen the sake of those of you were not here on the 1st day and haven't heard it before I want to read again that statement from Ellen White that really inspired this series and the Wade they turned out because what we have been talking about is not only the history of the Reformation but its meaning all the 7th Day Adventist Church or today it comes from great controversy page 126. Where she wrote at Wittenberg a life. Was Kendall whose Raney's should extend to the uttermost parts of the earth and which was who and priests and brightness to the calls of time those of you that been here all week I've heard me say more than once that the Reformation is not over there are people today that are saying that it was a mistake was just you know pinion of 1 man and that it's all over it's not our own wife was right. It's supposed to increase and brightness until the close of time and that as precisely the mission that God has given to this chart there is work to be done Yep and God has chosen the people to do it as I mentioned this charge emerged out of Protestantism in the 18th century because God knew what was coming and he needed a church a people to be ready to do the work is required in the time of the end and in the midst of what is happening today because at the time of the Reformation the conflict. The issue about the authority of the Word of God was between the reformers and Catholicism today and is within Protestant as now when I talk about the fact that God has chosen this church to do this work I say that humbly not most holy because there is a price to pay for faithfulness a 7th Day Adventist Church may very well be the lone voice in the context of churches that are capitulating to culture as they have become increasingly acclimated to culture the most recent example being that of the United Methodist Church which has recently consecrated had a lesbian as this. And the reaction to that within the United Methodist Church has been that there is talk of schism arn split division. And recently I read. 1 of the biggest United Methodist churches in the country I think it was somewhere in Mississippi has already voted to leave the nomination you know part of the ethos of a time of trouble is that painful believers are in conflict with the world and with worldly nests and that they envision the Church of Christ to be a holy community set apart different from the world obviously different transform and the struggle to stay true to the Word of God the value of unity and like minded Christian friends is boundless we have to be united it and the Word of God says the Apostle Paul writing in 1st Corinthians chapter 1 verse town he says I appeal to you brothers and sisters by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment and let the ends chapter 1 union with verse 27. He says only let your manner of life the worthy of the gospel of Christ so that was there I come and see you are I am absent I'm a hero of you that you are standing firm. In 1 spirit. With 1 mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel. And not frightened in anything by your opponents this is a clear sign to them of their destruction but of your salvation and that from God For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for His sake and gaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now here that I still have. All that up in $127.00 through 30 as I said the authority of God's Word was the issue at the time of the Reformation and it is still the issue today now sadly it's a part of the struggle within Protestantism Now why is that why was the US And why is it today because as all of white puts it and patriarchs and prophets page $55.00 she says whatever contradicts God's word we may be sure proceeds from Satan and speaking of the early church the book of Acts says Chapter 2 verse 46 and chapter 4 versus 32 and 33 and reads continuing daily with 1 accord and singleness of heart the full number of those who believe. WORLD 1 heart and all and with great power the Apostles were giving their testimony and great grace was upon them all but say the enemy of God's church was determined to destroy its unity and soon divisions and schisms rent the early church and that still say Sims try to dig out if you don't think he wants to destroy this church and its witness big mistake. And he will use sometimes the most on the job I say and. The issue of do that still his strategy and that call for unity in the midst of. Satan's attacks which came under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit brought about Exportations like these but I read from Paul and Peter and others because a disunited chart is a powerless chart listen to these bible passages Romans 1216 live in harmony with 1 another is talking to believe or talking to the chart Romans 15 verses 5 and 6 and I have a God given Dorrance an encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with 1 another and accord with Christ Jesus that together you may with 1 voice glorify the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ. 2nd Corinthians 13 versus 11 he says finally aim for restoration comfort 1 another agree with 1 another live in peace and the God of love and peace will be with you and lesbians too to complete my joy by being of the same mine having the same love being and full accord and of 1 mind what does the phrase the same mine name it gives the answer in or has 5 and 8 appellate paeans Chapter 2 he says have this mind among yourselves which is Yours in Christ Jesus who humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death obedience to what to the word and will of God Of course no division and full agreement and unified by the truth of God's word is essential for this church and this time to run I'm in a hurry so as man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord some 119 birth 1 o 5 Your word is a lamp to my feet a light to my path a lap a light showed me the way to go Proverbs 30 verses 5 and 6 every word of God proves true and then listen do not add to his words lest he rebuke you and you be following a liar. Problems 30 verses 5 and 6 John 17 verse 17 signed to 5 them in the truth your word is truth John 1717 and here is another 1 from Philippians Chapter 2 verses 14 and 62 to 60 do all things without grumbling or questioning that you may be blameless and innocent children of God in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation among whom you shine as lights in the world holding SAS to the Word of Life in the midst of all that and this. Generation confusion and that's where we are today our children are confused today kind of things they are they're faced with especially in the public old cautions 316 let the word of Christ while a new richly teaching and the monish ing 1 another and all wisdom. Second timidity I think I have the wrong reference and in way the verses quote Do your best to present yourselves to God as 1 approved a worker who has no need to be ashamed rightly handling the word of truth. That 2nd Timothy 316 and the way 1st Peter 2 verses 7 and 8 those who do not believe stumble because day disobeyed the word. As they were destined to do in other words if you disobey the word you're destined to stumble her creator to 7 and 8 and Revelation 227 Jesus says behold I'm coming soon bless it is the 1 who keeps the words of the prophecy of this book John 15 a light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it Matthew 5 horses 14 and 16 you are the light of the world that is God's people that's you and me let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father who is in heaven now all of the reformers have been mention this we and others including the wall then Sheehan's they didn't have all of the light not even looser at all of the light but they were firmly united on what Ellen White calls the ground principle and that's the title of our session today what I'm sharing with you the grand principle she right right controversy page 289 the grand principle maintained by these reformers was listen the in fallible off or a team of the Holy Scripture as a rule of faith and practice the Bible was their authority and by its teaching they test all doctrines and all play I was pleased. Why the fact that she did not hesitate to use the term in all of them how people don't like term as you with respect of the Scripture they call those who hold to the infallibility of the Bible 100 mentalists. I remember Professor Tomblin call at the seminary and 1 discussion of I was attending where this was criticized infallibility the word infallibility and he said. The word fundamentalist was used and he said what's wrong with being a fundamentalist Now she didn't hesitate to use that word that's a brand principle the infallible Alrighty of the Holy Scripture which means does it's incapable of error if it is on erring regarding faith on moral It will not mislead or deceive and what it says is God's truth what I have shared with you all week here represents the palm Dacian of my spiritual heritage and which eventually compelled me to join the 7th Day Adventist Church those of you have read or are going to read my latest book The road I travel those of you who have brought it will remember the section and which I talk about finish Christianity so if you read that you'll understand my and my wife's spiritual heritage and which is precisely the foundation that made it possible for us to eventually become at. When the Lord got my attention. I mentioned that yesterday when my wife became a 7th Day Adventist it was like I was hit over the head with a 2 by 4 to get my attention I said I likened it to Moses on the burning bush a Bush was but I used to wonder years years ago. Why was the book burning was because God had something he wanted to say to Moses and he had something he wanted him to do and that's the way he caught his attention and he does that sometimes you might have had this a similar experience or something on usual or even the crisis nature has occurred in your life and order to get your attention now by way of illustration I want to put everything that we have talked about into the contemporary context and which the 7th Day Adventist Church finds itself I'm going to venture I'm sensitive grown because I believe it's important and staying true to the Word of God and the context of I'm referring to is de ordination issue and the disunity threatens the mission of the chart and really the ordination issue is not a main issue that's why I titled my book in which I discussed this the tip of an iceberg because the ordination issue is just the tip beneath it is the most dangerous part of an iceberg it's a submerged portion and what I tried to point out in my book is that the real issue is what we call hermeneutics or the way the Bible is interpret it. And now within the last couple of years as a result of the theology of ordination Study Committee session which I was involved in the hermeneutical issue is now out in the open and we're going to look at 3 Bible texts that are crucial to the issue but 1st with me for we do that I want to review the principles of Bible interpretation or hermeneutics that God has given to this chart by means of the Spirit of Prophecy. A lot of folks don't really realize how fortunate 7th Day Adventists believers are because we don't have to come up with our own principles of interpretation God has already given them to us and we're going to look at. The 1st 1 is take the Bible as it reads listen to what she says this is from great controversy page 88 and I always marvel. As I mention the choice of words all of what I use because when you read it carefully and think about a word and become soul clear that the spiritual essence of what she's talking about becomes clear she says the truths most plainly revealed in the Bible have been involved in Doc and darkness by the learned men who with a pretense of great wisdom teach that the scriptures have a mystical. A secret spiritual meaning not a parent and the language and boy and she goes on if men would would but take the Bible as it reads if there were no false teachers to mislead and come use their minds a work would be accomplished that would make angels the last. All take the Bible as it reads 2nd principle focus on the Bible's plain statements listen to this this is from the review and Herald January 27 8085 she says quote men ignore the plain statement of the Bible to follow their own pervert and reason priding themselves on their intellectual attainments they overlook the simplicity of truth on all that's found in the review and Harold. January 27885 So 1st principle take the Bible as it reads 2nd principle hocus on the Bible plain statements and then the 3rd 1 right controversy page 598 language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning. Now in the throes of coming into this chart I was thrilled when I read those simple. Uncomplicated principle and by the way on I may have mentioned this already to sweep up on you look at the makeup of the group that we refer to as pioneers most people that they came from many different churches that's a diverse Baptist even moves around to discuss the Bible and to pray and to eventually came up with the foundational truths that we hold 7 minutes. But it's it's fascinating when you realize that there was not 1 Ph D. in that group they were all laymen they just had the Bible their belief and the Bible's authority their personal salvation they prayed together they discussed and their discussions were lively but they came to that unity of faith an understanding that eventually developed into something and start I was not ones color Ph D. among them you don't see these principles not all on white articulated are easy to understand that. They're not complicated and they're easy they can be applied by any person who believes that the Bible is the Word of God who reads it in faith trusts its counsel seeks to understand it and is determined to live by its truth you don't need advanced academic degrees or training in the biblical language S. to use Ellen White's story principles. And in doing so or I have a valid and trustworthy conclusion Luther once remarked that a farmer with the Bible in his hands has more wisdom than all of the bishops in the church put together. And followed scholars and stay out or going to look at 1st Timothy Chapter 3 in the light of these principles starting with the person or the saying is trustworthy by the way I'm using the English standard version the saying is trustworthy if anyone aspires to the office of overseer he desires a noble task therefore an overseer must be above reproach the husband of 1 wife sober minded self controlled respectable hospitable able to teach not a drunkard not violent a gentle not quarrelsome not a lover of money he must manage his own household while with all dignity keeping his children submissive for if someone does not know how to manage his own house whole how will he care for God's church he must not be a recent convert or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil Moreover he must be well thought of by outsiders so that he may not fall into disgrace into a snare of the devil now it says if anyone if anyone that is any person aspires. That is seeks to obtain the office notice it's office a position of authority in order to exercise a specific function of overseer that's who Paul is addressing himself to and anyone who wants that office the Greek term here for overseer translated overseer is Episcopals as it also is in Titus chapter 1 we'll look at that another in a minute and translated it Biskup us as translated overseer in the English standard version it's also translated bishop and the King James Version and the Revised Standard Version Now let me ask you what is the obvious meaning of the language when you read the whole text as you noticed the pronouns all of the pronouns could either be translated he or she but only if you ignore the whole context but in order to be accurate and not mislead the reader you have to use a translator has to use masculine pronouns they must be used why because of the key that question is found in the phrase husband of 1 wife which also can be translated man 1 woman because Paul says that all of the pronouns must be and the masculine gender that person must be must be in other words asked to be the husband of 1 wife above reproach. Now Husband 1 wife is not a qualification it is a prerequisite starts with that what is the obvious meaning the office of overseer which is a spiritual leader holding an office and having a specific function Bishop pastor elder must be a matt is that right or wrong that's the obvious meaning of the language now I have read in the process of this whole issue papers prepared to. Take pages and pages and pages to try to convince the reader the it doesn't mean what it says the intent is clear here so every pronoun and the passage referring to that person must be translated and understood as referring to a male and this is prerequisite to all the other qualifications by no stretch of the imagination could it be made to read wife of 1 husband or person of 1 person soul to conclude that Paul's use of masculine language here does not preclude the possibility of women serving in the office is just hypothetical it's not what the text. And other words and it defies logic by denying Paul's statement of fact now turned to Titus chapter 1. By the way 1st of its 2nd Timothy and Titus are the 3 Epistles we call the pastoral pistol now we're going to read in chapter 1 versus 79 Well let's begin with the verse 5 Paul is writing to Titus a young disciple of Paul and he says this is why I left you in Crete Creek is an island in the Mediterranean Why did you leave in there so that you might put what remained into order and on the word the church needs to be organized and appoint elders in every tone as I directed you if any 1 is above reproach is repeating his language from our sanity the husband of 1 wife and his children are believers are not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination for an overseer again the word was Episcopal us as God still ordered 1 who takes care of must be above reproach he must not be arrogant or quick tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain but hospitable a lover of good self-control upright only and discipline he must hold arm to the trustworthy word as taught so that he may be able to give instruction and sound doctrine and also to rebuke dulls who contradict it now here Paul clearly identifies overseers as elders. And is it's obvious that elders does not refer to any older person male or female who is already recognised as a person without authority among them believe how do we know that because the plain language says that an elder is to be the husband of 1 wife not the wife of 1 husband or the spouse of one's. What's the obvious meaning again repeated now twice in the New Testament Hurst the elder is to be a male 2nd he is to be married to a woman not another man and to only 1 woman another words a spiritual leader holding the office of overseer Bishop pastor elder and every policy is to be a man who upholds God's standards for the institution of marriage now why do I say that because when you read Paul by biography in the Bible you see him so was not married but he was ordained so the meaning is that the elder is not only to be Emmanuel but married to a woman and he shut up whole God's standards for the institution of marriage that's not complicated or difficult to understand. He says that this person is to be a man who must hold firm to the trustworthy word and be faithful to hold to and teach the Word of God without fear and without compromise now when I share this with you. I'm not being a grumpy old man. Which was implied in a sermon preached by 1 of our well known preachers another words his ministry this overseer rests on the authority of the Bible alone not on tradition or on the demands of current culture at any time or any place and that is the obvious contextual meaning of all language Ellen White is faithful to her own principles of interpretation as well as to the what what we might call the biblical trajectory when she says in Acts of the Apostles page 95 in the work of setting things in order and all the churches and ordaining suitable men to act as officers the Apostles held to the high standards of leadership outlined in the Old Testament or at goes all the way back to the Old Testament no look at Galatians 328 this is a 3rd text this is a text that is quoted so often by individuals who want to come Vince of Paul doesn't mean what it says in 1st Timothy and Titus elation 328 and reads there is neither Jew nor Greek there is neither slave nor free there is neither my own nor female or you are all 1 in Christ Jesus oh boy there it is there is neither male nor female no distinction. So does this verse present a principle that eliminates all gender distinctions now look at the context because burst $24.00 so then the law was our guardian until Christ came an order that we might be justified by faith but now that faith has come we're no longer under a guardian verse $27.00 for as many as of you as were baptized and to Christ have put on Christ that taught justification by faith that ties in to Christ that's the context he's not talking about church order he's talking about salvation and his instructions to Timothy and Titus concerning the organization of congregation congregations was Paul simply reflecting a culture of his pines and expressing his personal opinion being a male chauvinist or was he exercising has a solid authority on the role that he writes what he says about male female roles in the church by the way have any of you been sitting in on Dr Weil eans presentation as he's talking about some of the same thing he writes Paul writes what he says about male female roles in the church Hirst Timothy 315 he says so that you may know how 1 ought to behave in the household of God which is the Church of the Living God A pillar and the but Chris of truth. And he appeals to the order of creation 1st Timothy to Sir teen that Adam was formed earth and then Eve and when he does that he affirms male the male headship principle that was established by God at creation and he's saying that order of creation is the reason why men are given a primary role of spiritual leadership and the church that's what he says what he says is under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit it's not just his personal opinion it's not just reflecting the culture of the times therefore the language that Paul uses is not irrelevant and meaningless an accountant being ignored Furthermore the culture of his time or ours is not a process where as a principle of Bible interpretation why because cultures changes all the time listen to this from early writings painting 96 number less words need not be put on paper to justify what speaks for itself and shines and it's clear now as truth is Christ playing Claire and stands out boldly and its own defense but it is not so with error error as soul winding and twisting that it needs a multitude of words to explain it and its crooked form early writings page 96. And then her selected messages page 181 she says let the plain simple statements of the Word of God the food for the Mind this speculating upon ideas that are not clearly presented there is dangerous business so finally speaking of himself as a servant of Christ on a stored of the mysteries of God That is 1 who cares for and protects Paul says in 1st Corinthians 41 and 2 it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy and on the words that they can be depended on to stay true to the Word of God and he applied that to himself and verse 6 and he says For your benefit for the benefit of the church that you might learn by us not to goal beyond what is written that none of you be puffed up in favor of 1 against the other so it's as stewards of the Word of God That's what we are the mysteries of got it's our duty to affirm and sustain the biblical trajectory that began before the fall and which 1st Timothy 3 and Titus 1 are obviously faithful and not go beyond what is written in the scriptures and it's also our duty to probe tect our beloved Church from a hermeneutical disaster because that's what it would be it would open the door to same sex marriage all of the stuff that culture is putting 3 pressure on us to accept. To ask if Paul really means that an elder is a man brings to mind the serpents question to Eve and Genesis are you want is not really say you shall not eat of any tree and there are you see dollop you begin to Doc 1 who says Thou leads to disbelief and then to disobedience which is the devil's impended consequence it becomes easy to disobey and then accumbens other people to do the same Jesus asked on the Son of Man comes will be fine face on or paint and walk and God's love his grace as mercy and his redeeming transforming power his word Let's paraphrase that and ask when Jesus comes will he find a whole mess in his chart eyeful to what has worked as well as true remember Luther I am this war hero status I can't do anything else and so my conscience is captive to the Word of God That's what the Bible says Now in closing I want to do something that I've never done before it's long overdue and this is why it persuaded my dear wife to be here today I want to pay tribute to her when I share my story. Most of the focus is on me and my struggle but it was hard for her career because she learned the truth by the way she was a she's been a student of the Bible a lover of God's word. That Ikeda to God's word since she was in her teens early teens. She was mopping just being stubborn and it was difficult for her to because she spoke firm at great risk and I'm going to say something that I never talk about but it's part of the story and it's a vital part I was counseled by at least 2 The possibly 3 Lutheran leaders that I need to give her an ultimatum and force her to make a decision either I had been a church or her marriage I resisted that for a long time but it came to a head 1 day I'll never forget that day either when I did that I told her you have to make that choice not mine ministry was collapsing and she very bravely made her choice walked out of the house our little girl up a daughter was playing in the front yard she took her hand on the ground walking down the street I saw her from the front when the US dollar. Where would she have gone what would she have done and God spoke to me I believe it was from him I couldn't let her go 1st the thought came into my mind. Though forget you made your marriage evolve before you made your ordination wall and other words my volatile God concerning my marriage for better or for worse for richer for poorer. Was more important came 1st than my ordination Vaal so I can't remember divide it in the car. I got in the car and rolled down the street. Called all come off and in all that. The reason I want to pay tribute to her is because if she had not stayed true in spite of the risks I wouldn't be here today probably. And who knows what would have happened in the long run and why I think back on it if it had gone the other way I would have missed Sol many blessings everything that God has allowed us to do travels around the world teachin seminarian on that evil ball who would have thought of that So this is the way I want to close the seminar by paying tribute to my dear wife we've been married now 62 years you. Call. Any comments or questions and I have a volunteer to close common. Sense Sometimes God has to save us kicking and screaming into his church. I don't know how to comment. But we still we still protest. That's all right you want to think that way that's fine Thomas both know what you're saying is that we are up a scholarship believer. There is a group of Lutheran people that are called up a stolid Lutherans probably the most conservative branch of Lutheran is but they don't keep the Saturdays. And the other comment Well 1st of all we're in the midst of the debate. And the issue of local elders has yet to be dealt with it is now being intensely discussed because it has to be dealt with. Also I don't know if this is really relevant to your question or not. Some people have asked what about Alan White she was a woman but she was a prophet. And there were women prophets and in and in the Bible and who choses prophets the church not not so her authority was direct from got and she proved it by her ministry the authority of the male minister is derives from Christ who is the head of the church the authority of a woman who is serving in the church is delegated by a pastor who whose authority is derives from Christ we have in our church in Bessemer a lady who is an outstanding savable teacher she's also an excellent preacher and I asked her to preach at least twice a year I exercising my authority and delegating that hurt you can be a leader in the church or a spiritual leader without ordination but want to comes to the office of spiritual leader headship overseer it's reserved for or for men that's what the Bible says in a we're not I'm not just being anti feminine possible isn't anti feminine you read God's role or for you ladies it's a pearl of to. You have us a pearl of to mission and ministry as wives and mothers so this is not a matter of denigrating you ladies it's not that at all because we need to have the utmost love and respect for the women in our church and frankly the women do more work than men when it comes to ministry is not true man so you know let's put it in and in the right perspective this is not a matter of being on just or unkind or restrictive it's not if some matter of being and harmony with God's word and do things the way he has lived in. Because then he blesses he can bust All right we got a post up I want to say this 1 more thing as I was thinking about doing a seminar especially on the Reformation I deviated for quite a while about whether I should include during the last day what I shared with you today and I was convicted convinced by I think the Holy Spirit to do it because this issue the lay folks like you need to understand the nature of the real issues that we're facing here and and you folks need to rise up by that I don't mean agitate and all. Cause a riot you know stuff like that what I mean is you need to bear your witness to the word of your testimony as important. At test all be done on the leadership level besides we need your help later ship needs your help we need your strength behind us so whenever it comes up in your church your mind you know don't be angry or in all mean a bother up speak your mind just said this is what the Bible says what that's what God so. That's what we know and that will have a powerful effect so what we need right now is. We need the Lord to light a fire under you pops on the lay it. All right let's have our wall of fear to pray please. You will. Receive. This media was brought to you by audiophiles a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or if you would like to listen to more sermons Please Visit W W W dot audio Verse dot org.

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