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History & Mission of ASI

Mark Finley
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Mark Finley

Assistant to President for Evangelism at the General Conference

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Conference

Recorded

  • August 3, 2018
    10:30 AM
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Father in heaven we thank you that we have only 1 life to live and we can give it to you we thank you that life is not some cosmic joke that it's not some long tedious process toward oblivion but that our life can have meaning and purpose and focus and direction and that the deepest needs of the human heart can be met him Christ as we serve Him in Mission guide us today as we speak in Christ's name Amen. I was on 1 of those Wong flights coming back from Brazil it was approximately a 7 hour flight I was anxious to get back home to Washington and you know as just before you're getting ready to land the pilot often says it's 20 minutes or 30 minutes before landing if you need to get up and use the bathroom or do anything else it's time to do that now and after a long flight and following the advent of health message of drinking a lot of water I needed to use the facilities so I got up and went into the small bathrooms on the planes I don't know why they don't make those things bigger but when you are 6 foot 1 and it's hard to find room in the bathroom anyway I shut the door and I knew something was wrong immediately the light went out in that small cubicle it was totally dark and the door locked behind me and would not open now imagine it we are descending out of 36000 feet and as we're coming down this door is locked now I wanted to act dignified because when you are the assistant to the president of the General Conference us after that dignified so I just gently pushed on the door nothing happened pushed harder nothing app and I became less dignified and began to pound on the door nothing app and sat put the. Top of the commode down sat on it put my feet against the door began to kick that thing nothing appen and I had all these kind of visions in my mind I had the vision of landing hitting the ceiling breaking my neck and having the front page of the review and herald say pass the mark Finley dies in plane wreck you know that wasn't too pleasant of an image I kept pushing on that door and pushing finally open a little crack and a flight attendant came by and she said sir do you need help I said lady do I need help. Can you open the door and finally she did you know sometimes doors that you knock on sometimes doors that you push on do not open Have you ever found that in your life you thought you were supposed to go a certain direction you thought that God was leading you in a certain way but yet God changed his plans the history of A.S.I. begins with plans changed in X. the 16th chapter. If you happen to have your Bible you may have a scroll like I do or you may have a text on your i Phone And if you're looking at it I know you're not texting but you're looking at the text i X. the 16th chapter Paul had door after door closed in his life X. 16 we look there beginning at verse 6 now when they had gone through per Ghia and the region of goal Aisha they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia now here's Paul he sees the great cities of Asia and he says God I know you're leading me there and as he's going to Asia he has God's plans in mind God shuts the door the Holy Spirit deeply convicts him don't go to Asia Paul said Did I misread the signals that I miss understand God what you were doing God I thought you were opening that door and you slammed it in my face Paul continues next verse after they had come to Messina they thought thought they were going to go to bit Siniora but the Spirit did not permit them they were on their way to F.S.S. and God said No don't go they're going to go to this Bethenny and don't go every door that pull all thought was opened shut when God closes a door for you as a young professional he's going to open another door God never closes the door without opening another door Paul goes to Troas and there intro as he hears a voice from Macedonia saying come over and help us. As he leaves he say also across the bay lands at the OP alist walks the 7 miles out to Philip by Philip I was a retirement community on the end of the IG Nation way for Roman soldiers it had beautiful sea breezes it was a wealthy city they had gotten gold from the peg Goni in the hills and so Paul went there he surveyed the city and he discovered that there were as a small group of Jewish women out by the riverside he went out and met 1 of them and 1 of them was a woman by the name of Lydia from via Tyrone she was 1 of the 1st A.S.I. members in Europe she he Paul met her she had a fascinating business you remember what Lydia did what did she do she was a seller of purple Why Philip by what brought her there she was the from fire Tyra purple is a dye that comes from a mollusc that is a sea shell anarchia Locky ologists have found large mountain of this type of sea shell along the coastline of the opulence So you take these sea shells and you boil them and as you boil them the little creature inside dies and produces a purple dye that purple dye was used to make Roman togas and they were the rage for women in that day so Philip I was a shopping bazaar at the end of the ignition way Paul meets Faya Tyra Paradip old meets Lydia via Tyra she. Supports herself by selling purple she has a large home and in her home is a stablished the 1st church in Europe here you have a young professional Lydia who supports herself and does not depend on church funds and as the result of that comes to Christ finances the Gospel to be preached in tire it and also in Philip and Christian churches are established there what is A A S What is the function of A.S.I. the function of A.S.I. is not to produce individuals who are dependent on donations for their ministry but the function of A.S.I. is to motivate and equip and inspire professionals who are so committed to the work of Christ that they can generate their own income while they do ministry for Christ now the 2nd great example in the New Testament of supporting Ministries is found in Acts the 16th acts the 18th chapter the Apostle Paul in Acts 18 has preached in Philip high Thessalonica Berea Athens when he comes to Corinth he spends a year and a half in Corinth and as the 1st comes to Corinth and Acts Chapter 18 he meets 2 people do you remember the 2 people wore a Quilla and Priscilla and you remember the Bible says about them they were what tent makers and because that was Paul's trade here the greatest evangelist in the history of the New Testament does not depend on the church to give him ink up he generates his own ink up. He begins with a quill and Priscilla making tents. Well you talk about Enter Persia Why was he making tents in Corinth there were 3 great athletic events in the Greek empire the Olympic Games the Parthian gaper thingy and games in the as many and games Corinth was on the is many and in isthmus and every 2 years Corinth had the as many and games there were athletic events there was wrestling there was a track and field events there were weight lifting events in the Olympics in those days you even had singing events Nero came to the as many and games and sang he had the worst voice it was horrible and he would sing for an hour an hour and a half and some people pretended to faint so they could be carried out so they wouldn't have to listen to is singing but Nero won the singing contest every time because if you didn't put him as number 1 you may end up losing your life the as many a games or every 2 years Paul came and began making tents why because they did not have hotels like Holiday Inn or Sheraton in or Hampton Inn they would live in tents so Paul was an entrepreneur he was a business person he knew that if he made those tents they would sell them to the 00s of pilgrims coming sports fans to watch these main in games while Paul was they are supporting himself as an aside a worker he came in contact with the treasurer of the city. Whose name was your Rastus and Erastus took a liking to Paul you can read about your asses 3 times in the New Testament archaeologically if you go to the ruins of Corinth there's an over beaten path that you can go down I was there just a few months ago and you see the name of Erastus carved in the stone and it says a Rastus treasure of the city I built this pavement with my own money he became a convert and join Paul as a young professional find he was a financier Paul was a tent maker thiat that Lydia was a a business woman selling purple but these 3 helped to finance the New Testament Christian church they were not paid clergy they were not supported by the top 5 they were young professionals committed to Christ dedicated to Christ who had a burden for Christ who had a burden for Mission whose hearts burdened with mission I thank God for young professionals who come to the church and who say we are so committed to Christ we're not going to ask you for a salary you use that on the few ministers you have we are dedicated our life is 1 of mission William carrying shoe cobbler an England put a map of the world on the wall and he said I cobble shoes to pay expenses but soul winning is my business. William care was sent as a missionary to India and open the gospel there A.S.I. self-supporting workers have a history from the New Testament where do we find that history in the 7th Day Adventist Church. There were 2 men 1 by the name of Percy McGann the other E.A.A. Sutherland McGann and Sutherland were great educators so I'm a good Sutherland had been the president of battlecry college work there he had been the president of Walla Walla college as Ellen White had dreams and present to Battle Creek McGann and Sutherland teamed up McGann had more of a medical background Sutherland more of an educational background but eventually they both became physicians they teamed up based on the visions of Ellen White to start a small school at 1st in the south that would produce self-supporting workers that could do mission around the world the year was $19004.00 they wanted to follow the tradition of both Lydia who sold purple pull the Tentmaker arrests the treasure and they said we had to produce some self-supporting workers here because we recognize that the church can finance everybody and so Ellen White said that she would join them on a fact finding mission to look for land she already had had a version of a piece of property in Tennessee which she did not necessarily know where it was her son James said Susan. I had a boat called The Morning Star that he was ministering to underprivileged African-Americans in the south here Ellen White indorsed that work and she strongly supported it she was a leader in racial equality and justice and so she joined Percy McGann E.A.A. Sutherland her son on this boat the morning star and there were about 3 or 4 others with them as the boat was coming up the river the boat often broke down and you know all supporting workers need to not work with their hands and so the boat breaks down and as it breaks down it breaks down in a bend and they pull it over to the side and they say there's going to be about a day that's we're going to have to. We're going to have to repair this boat now Sutherland McGann had left a little earlier and were going to join them. Ellen White says since we're going to be here anyway team let's go look and see if there's any property around here and they walked and they saw this auld broken down farm had been a slave plantation had about $400.00 acres 2 under an impasse year but a house and about a 100 fruit trees and a 100 vegetables she walks around the farm and got impresses or this is the property you saw but the land was overworked we need so for growing it the soil had been neglected and the soil was high absolutely horrible for growing the house was broken down and she said this is to be the property now McGann and Sutherland weren't there they fix the boat pick up again and Sutherland look for a property in other areas don't find it they're coming back and she said that. There's some property over here I want you to see I believe it's the property of the Lord showed me in vision again and so I don't go up and look at the property now they've been in the Walla Walla Value know anything about well oh well it's the soil is rich and fertile and things grow you know anything about the berry and springs area things grow there and so they go back there walking around the property she said this is the property the Lord showed me the camps his home no courtly to is different other vision. A subtle exist Lord please give the woman another vision this is the property the Lord showed me when Southern McGann write this story they say they went out behind some old ramshackle house and sat down and wept they said Ward this cannot be the property we can when I coming here but then they've as they pray they say if you haven't pressed the prophet of God that we should come we will come and they come to that piece of property eventually start a little school the school is small at 1st it's called the Nashville agricultural Institute. And the purpose of the school is to produce workers who can farm at that time agricultural society early 19 hundreds workers who can do medical work young professionals who can go out to the far rung reaches of the earth and start missions for Christ young professionals who would go through that school and would have such a vision of Christ such a vision of mission that they would be willing to make sacrifices to go to the ends of the earth to see the Gospel preached for Jesus Christ and so these young professionals come to this little training school called Madison there. As time goes on the school grows they establish a sanitarium they go through incredible sacrifices for Jesus Christ and the school grows they begin to establish other units all through the south and as they are doing that there are lights that are shining in dark communities young professionals are going out to witness for Christ they're not dependent on the church for their finances but they have a passion in their heart they have a desire in their life and they're moving out for Christ as they are this school attracts the attention of the leading educators in the world it is a different school it's based on cooperation and not competition it is based on self service and it's not based on selfishness it's based on the principles of the Gospel and these young people are bright they're intelligent they're practical They're people that a big a blessing in any community and the United States government sans the leader of the Department of Education to look at these students and the young professionals and to see their motivation their motivation his mission and as they go out to the ends of the earth God moves through them. The year now is 1948 Madison college was a stablished in 190-419-4719 extension 48 there are all of these little mission units that are established around the world the General Conference of 7th Day Adventists says we should develop a network. 2 to organize these units and so A.S.I. Adventist self-supporting institutions was a stablished the late $1940.00 S. its function was to bring together these various institutions it was pride dominantly an institutional movement early on but as time went on there were you know there were business professionals the join and so A.S.I. became Adventist services and industries and it became now much more it became much more than simply the educational wing it became a wing that was bringing in both professionals and institutions it has grown what is a Sri it is a dynamic mission centered passionate movement that takes the mandate of Christ seriously to take the Gospel to the world what is a aside it's tensile McNicholas a banker who commits his time to service for Christ it's Heidi a entrepreneur a New York City developing a health food restaurant to share Christ what is a Sri it's remnant publications a businessman who decides to try to poorest profits back into printing literature what is a aside A.S.I. is is a guy like Danny Shelton who whose heart is moved with passion to do something for Christ and he starts a 3 day began see what is a aside it's people like you and me not me because I'm a pastor preacher paid by the church but you see what is a aside it is young adults it's middle age adults it's older adults. Are pastors and lay people joining hands to work together A.S.I. has a biblical basis we find it back in the book of Acts with Lidia we find it with Paul but A.S.I. is based on a mandate that we find in Matthew the 28th chapter and Matthew chapter 28 we find a mandate given by Christ Matthew the 28th chapter and you're looking there. At verse $1819.20 Jesus has been resurrected from the dead man's steps off a mountain and goes down and God steps off a mountain and goes up because the laws of gravity cannot cause the creator of gravity to be bound to the earth and just before Jesus A Since the heaven in Matthew 28 verse 161-7188 says and the 11 disciples went away on to Galilee on the mountain which Jesus appointed for them and when they saw him they worshiped him but some doubted Christ gave these disciples a mission a mission to go to the ends of the earth and as he gave them that mission some doubt it they doubted van and they doubt now they doubted vey are and they doubt here they doubt it in the 1st century and they doubt it in the 21st century but God never accomplishes something great through those who doubt and the Bible says then Jesus caves when Jesus comes he chases away our fears when Jesus comes he chases away our doubts and God is raising up a generation of young adults who are passionate about mission who are willing to support themself who are not going to listen to the skeptics or the doubters who are motivated to go out and preach the gospel the Bible so Jesus says All authority is given to be go there for all authority all power when we go out for Jesus we go not with the authority of man we go with the authority of God Jesus does not call the qualified he qualifies those he's called and Christ is given you gifts for service Christ is placed within you gifts and creativity to make a difference you have only 1 life to live and you don't want to waste it you want to make a difference for Christ. Come back with me to the year 1088 we're not going to Minneapolis to the great revival meeting we're going to San Francisco there's a seaman His name is Abraham route for 50 years he has been a seaman little interest in spirituality he's invested his savings in property in San Francisco but the great San Francisco fire takes place and he loses everything he has he moves up to northern California and while he's there he comes across Adventist literature reads it it changes his life he goes up in now he's in his sixty's he goes back to take a Bible course so we can be a literature of Angelus than a bible worker and he goes to heels for a college or a Pacific Union College and takes the Bible training course he says I'm going to be a self-supporting lay person and go out he begins to dream about places in the world that the church has never reached in China is 1 he writes to the Mission Board of the General Conference and he says send me as a missionary to China they write back a very poli letter I know about those polite letters that the General Conference writes I served as assistant to the president they write I'm a pro at letter my dear brother thank you for your desire to go to China but you know you've got to always watch the butts you know not only to go but you've got to watch those butts but my dear brother we have no money we have no money and we can't send you to China and my dear brother you're a little old you know you're not great all right so you're in the sixty's you're a little old but why don't you go to 1 of the Pacific Islands So Abraham will rue with his own money and a few books gets on a steamer the steamer that's a boat because on his boat he goes past Hawaii and he says wait a minute Hong Kong is an island and that's close to China I think I'll keep going he sells in Hawaii for a little while sell some books make some more money goes to Uncle. And Abraham will rue a seaman. And A.S.I. member goes to China supports himself labors for a 15 years in China no converts from 888 to 93 but he labors faithful A.S.I. members are perseverant as I member of a passion for ministry as I members are totally consumed with the mission of Christ and they do not give up easily 1903 he sees his 1st 7 baptisms in China 7 seem in there actually English seaman then the Chinese converts come later and he dies in 19 No 3 but some of our literature of desire steps to Christ has been translated into China now would be good at that in those years that over $405.00 other ministries other missionaries join in the General Conference since over Anderson out there today in China has the result of the seeds of the gospel so maybe I'm a guru We have 450007th evidence believes that work is growing there in China God is going to give somebody in this room a version of ministry there will be those that doubt there will be those skeptics that say it'll never happen but God has given you talents God has given you abilities God has given you gifts to use for service you have only 1 LIFE TO LIVE give it to service give it to Mission. Go out from this place with a passion in your heart to support yourself as a I thought I member do mission for Jesus is name we pray Amen media was produced by audio over Orient Line Avenue layman services and industry. If you would like to learn more about the inside please W.W.W. insight. Or if you like to live for free online sermons please visit W.W.W. audio verse or.

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