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3. The Future of Adventist Lifestyle

Jim Howard
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  • June 8, 2018
    6:00 PM
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Evilly father we're grateful for the blessings of the day for your mercy that are new each day and Lord we just pray that the Holy Spirit will be present in this place we claim the promise that when we gather together for the CAN'T meeting Jesus is there and Lord we need an awakening in our own heart and clarity or how we can better trust you for the future so please guide our meeting speak to our hearts and may we know when we leave this place that we have been in the presence of Jesus in Jesus Name we ask it. All right this is. Installment number 3 of the future of Adventism. Here. And. 2 days ago I shared the 1st installment which was the future of Adventist biblical interpretation and I just wonder just a brief review here. And I also want to say that as we go through this particular. Topic that. You're wanting to know where it's headed it's going to be somewhat of a heart to what Pastor Howard did yesterday. Because the foundations of what we're going be talking about today which is the future of Ab and it's lifestyle has everything to do with how we understand the gospel of 7th Avenue so we're going to talk a little bit more about that and maybe at the end we'll be able to see how that applies to our lifestyle understandings of the evidence. But just a little bit back 2 days ago because at the heart of every one of these topics the reason we started with biblical interpretation is because everything that we are challenged with sames to have at its core how we interpret the Bible and we talked when I was here with you on Monday about how errors of many of the evangelical churches errors about the Sabbath about death about hell they're all accepted because of an unbiblical hermeneutic they have a different way of getting to their understanding. We also look at a couple of areas of recent study in a 7th Day Adventist Church such as creation vs evolution such as the question of women's ordination and I don't know if you're aware but at the last G.C.C. session there were a number of fundamental beliefs that received. Some slight modification and one of those was number 6 on creation. There were some delegates from areas of the world church that perhaps have embraced a more progressive hermeneutic. That really pushed back against the changes that were being suggested to be more specific about the timing of the Creation account. They felt that we need to leave the timing leave room for interpretation I'm going to share with you just what the. Fundamental belief number 6 says now about the timing of creation that God has revealed in Scripture the authentic and historical account of his creative activity he created the universe and in a recent 6 day creation that they don't like the word Recent the Lord made the heavens and the earth the sea and all that is in them and rested on the 7th day thus the establish the Sabbath as a perpetual memorial of the work he performed and completed during 6 literal days the literal days that together with the Sabbath constituted the same unit of time that we call a week today astronomy is specific it's possible that when we read about the week of creation we're talking about the same units of time not thousands or millions of years within day one you understand now to meet issue of creation is about as clear as it gets in the Bible so why wouldn't someone just believe what it says the only reason I can give is the pressure to harmonize with Popular Science and Culture when culture becomes convinced of something and this is something I want to think about when everyone begins to speak with essentially one opinion and one voice it can be pretty hard to hold on to the Bible to believe in creation is to ignore the overwhelming evidence they would say don't be so ignorant to believe in complimentary roles for men and women while maintaining equality between all is just a smooth talking form of massage eny and oppression of women don't be so discriminatory. To believe that homosexual practice is sinful behavior it's a selfishly deny others the opportunity to love someone like you do and has pushed innocent people to want to end their own lives don't be so hateful you understand that everything in culture eventually brings itself into one opinion and one voice it's going to be in opposition to the Bible and I don't know about you but I don't like being considered ignorant and discriminatory and hateful I'm quite a people pleaser actually as my brother I didn't take many sides when we were younger I just tried to make peace but that's the pressure of culture that's the pressure that is on biblical interpretation it is plain the faithfulness of many Christian denominations and it's plain the faithfulness of many a Christian nothing leads to a wrong method of biblical interpretation like the pressure of culture whether historical critical or allegorical or proof texting methods you remember we looked at all those if you were here on Monday all false methods of hermeneutics that quite frankly are all the same to me they're just one method that I like to call the whatever it takes hermeneutic whatever it takes to come to the conclusion that I want or to avoid the conclusion that I don't want and the 7 I have a search doesn't believe in creed if you ever look at the some of the evidence church manual right before the 7th Day Adventist beliefs are listed it makes it very clear that 7th Day Adventists do not believe in creeds are only creed is the Bible so I've found Bible study leads us to a fuller or even a different understanding than we have historically held on any point we should be willing to go wherever the Lord leads us that's how we feel and have always believed that 7th Avenue. Now when it comes a controversial issues like women's ordination which we touched on on Monday it's not that we shouldn't be willing to see things differently we most certainly should be willing to always sit down and discuss the Bible and be open to changing our viewpoint if the Bible evidence takes us there but we should never make a change in practice unless and until we have an interpretation that meets the same quality standard as the rest of our biblical beliefs it can't be based on speculations it can't be based on suggestions it can't be based on historical reconstructions that are little bit questionable and it can't ignore Biblical precedents you see one of the things that happens when you study with people and many of you who have studied given Bible studies understand this you can study with someone on say the topic of what happens when you die or the topic of hell and someone can go to absent from the body and they can go to the rich man and Lazarus and they can say it clearly states but the problem is they do not carry the burden to deal with or reckon with the great body of tax that we would consider the weight of evidence in Scripture we cannot make the same mistake we cannot make a claim based on something that we think has some semblance of whatever but not feel the burden to reconcile the body attacks that are seeming to say something plainly different we have to be honest in our study the Bible and be honest with Biblical precedent and have sensible reasonable answers for that if we're going to make a change in what we believe. All of our beliefs and practices after use the same sound hermeneutical principles and been supported by the same weight of inspired evidence in both the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy never the weight of popular opinion or cultural ideas of justice or in quality that is what we studied on Monday and that I'm reminding us of because it is the issue that drives every potential. Wrong path in the 7th Avenue Church Eleanor Mind you a Bible verse you know very well Revelation Chapter 14 of verse 12 says this here is the patience of the Saints Here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus this of course is on the tail end of the 3rd angel's message contrast ing those who receive the mark of the beast with those who will be faithful to the end the patience of the saints the N.A.S.D. says the perseverance of the saints the N.I.V. says the patient in durance of the people of God These are the words used to describe those who have to endure the frown of the world you understand it it's not smooth sailing to the end we're not going to be going with the stream we're going to be going against what culture and the world seem to be considering right and just at the end of time we know from Scripture it's going to require this kind of perseverance to remain faithful to God and to his word and yesterday Pastor Mark talked to us about the Adventist view of the everlasting Gospel and he shared how the pressures of Christian culture now on not just talking about. The culture of the world but the culture of the great body of Christianity. Has influenced many in our church to begin viewing the gospel from a more evangelical perspective perhaps they don't go as far I would certainly say that most of them don't but unfortunately the principles are much the same and therefore they lead you to similar conclusions now today I'm going to take the next step and talk about how a more evangelical understanding of the Gospel is influencing much of what has made us distinct in a peculiar people in terms of Christian standards and lifestyle but in order to understand this we're going to have to go back and we're going to have to review some key points from yesterday's presentation and have sort of a part 2 on the topic of our view of the everlasting gospel now Pastor Mark showed a text yesterday when I look at it is Romans Chapter 7 and verse 14 this where we know that the law is spiritual but I am carnal sold under cinema to give you another verse there in Romans it's quite similar it says in Romans 8 verses 6 and 7 that to be carnally minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life in peace because the carnal mind is enmity against God what does that mean and MATY hostile toward God in opposition to God why the word for as another meaning with the word for means because the reason that we are hostile naturally in our carnal condition the reason that we are in opposition to God is because the carnal mind the mind are born with it is not subject to the law of God nor indeed can it be you think that the Christian is not simply a modification of something he or she once was he is he or she is a new creature right 2nd Corinthians 5 tells us very clearly that. That old things are passed away all things have become new. So that's because you can't take the old and make it what you needed to be it can't be made subject to law God you have to be born again you have to become a new creature now this issue of the fact that the laws spiritual and I'm carnal and I can't be in my my car a heart cannot be made spiritual This issue is what brings about the need for the Gospel This brings about the need for the death of Christ is the God It is in harmony with his character and the spiritual law and we have a carnal mind and as a great separation there and so the question is asked why did Jesus have to die what is the gospel now 7th Day Adventists view this differently then evangelicals as a rule or many within the evangelical world God has to remove the law therefore allowing man with his carnal mind and behavior to be in harmony with God's requirements you understand so basically the idea is man cannot. Possibly live up to a spiritual law so Jesus did for man Jesus died to pay the penalty and now the law is no longer required so it's essentially the requirements for man our earthly they meet his earthly condition whatever his earthly condition is that's all that's needed anymore because of what Jesus did for him 7th Day Adventists believe that what God does is write his law in the heart and mind of man so that instead of removing the spiritual He removes the carnal in order to bring harmony let me give you a few statements to try to summarize it to the evangelical Jesus perfect life and sacrificial death pays the debt of my sin and frees me from the bondage of the law to the Adventist Jesus perfect life and sacrificial death pays the debt of my sin and frees me from the bondage of the carnal heart the evangelical gospel removes the requirement of the law and the advent of gospel writes the law on the heart the evangelical faith makes void the law and the advent of faith establishes the law as it's written in Romans $331.00 Do we then make void the law true faith certainly not on the contrary the exact opposite of doing away with the law faith is the only thing that helps us to establish the law in our hearts and in our lives remember faith is central to how we are saved we are talking about the gospel of salvation here if visions chapter 2 in verse 8 tells us For by grace you have been saved through faith. Now we recognize as Pastor Mark shared yesterday that this is expressed in different ways in the Bible and we know in Romans 51 that we are justified by faith and that's how we are reconcile and have peace with God We also know from Acts 26 that we are sanctified by faith in Christ so as been a simple believe what the Bible says that we're saved through faith and that by faith we are justified which happens in a moment and we're sanctified which is the ongoing process of developing a Christ like character so why would any admin to solve a problem with this well the issue if I could boil it down is all about the assurance of salvation to make sure that no one feels anxious about their salvation there's been a constant effort through the years to split up justification and sanctification and to make sure people know that we are saved the moment we accept Jesus justification and that's a long process of character development sanctification is only what we refer to as the fruits of salvation that way if your character isn't yet perfect is yours neither is mine that way if your character isn't yet perfect you don't have to feel anxious that you might not make it to heaven you understand the idea is that our ticket to heaven is based on what Jesus did for us on the cross and not by what he is doing to help us overcome sin in our lives today and there's a strong strong emphasis placed on that so that you can maintain your assurance if you're struggling to overcome sin you can still feel assured of salvation you get the idea well I know that those who are going to great lengths to make a clear distinction between the roles of justification and sanctification I know that they mean well. And there is a lot of truth even in what I have described because there are some distinctions there wouldn't be 2 different words if they were 2 different things but there are some major pitfalls to making this strong emphasis and strong distinction also for instance while you're aiming to give the growing Christian assurance of salvation you can unwittingly give the rebellious backslider the same assurance I mean if the righteousness of cover of right of Christ covers one it covers all right I mean as long as they confessed Jesus as Lord but this starts getting dangerously close to once they've always say and Adventists have always avoided this false doctrine by understanding that sanctification or character development is an essential part of the salvation process as Pastor Mart was talking to us about yesterday if we're justified by faith and if we're sanctified by faith then anyone who has saving faith will have both right if you have both by biblical definition arms are if you have faith by biblical definition you have justification and you are being sanctified and we should be afraid of emphasizing the importance of sanctification because the growth of Christian character is a clear indicator of a saving relationship with Christ let's look at a few quotes Education Page one away the harvest of life is what character and it is this that determines destiny both for this life and for the life to come Christ triumphant page 188 a character formed after the divine likeness is the only treasure that people can take from this world to the next the character as formed in this world determines one's destiny for eternity the element of value in one's life in this world will be of value in the world to come. Character A person's future is determined by the way one allows himself or herself to be influenced if one cherishes and cultivates hereditary tendencies for wrong indulging fleshly inclinations appetites and passions that individual can never enter the Kingdom of God but the person who strives to repress evil inclinations who is willing to be governed by the Spirit of Jesus Christ is transformed the actually Apostles page 560 sanctification is not the work of a moment an hour a day but of a lifetime it is not gained by a happy flight of feeling but is the result of constantly dying to sin and constantly living for Christ wrongs cannot be righted nor reformations wrought in the character by feeble intermittent efforts it is only by long perseverance effort sword discipline and stern conflict that we shall overcome we know not one day how strong will be our conflict the next so long as Satan reigns we shall have self to subdue the setting sins to overcome so long as life shall last there will be no stopping place no point which we can reach and say I have fully attained sanctification is the result of lifelong obedience and then comes this one in early writings page $71.00 I also saw that many do not realize what they must be in order to live in the sight of the Lord without a high priest in the sanctuary for the time of trouble those who receive the seal of the Living God and are protected in the time of trouble must reflect the image of Jesus fully. Let's review here for a minute how we were justified by faith and were sanctified by faith and we understand that there are many people who are trying hard to make sure that we know that only justification has anything to do with our salvation. They describe sanctification as being the fruit of salvation and I'm just not comfortable with this phrasing you see if I refuse to live by faith which is evidenced by refusing the Holy Spirit's efforts to develop my character then my persistent refusal of sanctification results in a loss of my justification the faith that brings both justification and sanctification is not passive it is active go back and read Hebrews chapter 11 they are so closely connected that we have to be really really careful or we'll make it appear that you can have one without the other so here's what's happening we read the Spirit of Prophecy quotes like character determines destiny Well let's think about that is he saying that salvation is by works no but sanctification the development of character well always be present in a person who is justified by faith I just don't see evidence of Ellen White trying to split it all up many advocates today would try to be super careful. To not make someone worry too much about their salvation by saying something like yes character is important but it's justification and not sanctification that actually determines your destiny but that's not what she says So think about it she says character determines destiny and sanctification is the work of developing character but here's the real kicker she says that sanctification is the work of a lifetime so this is how people get all hung up they say well if parents are going to miss destiny and that process takes an entire lifetime then I'll never have any assurance that I'm saved because my character will still need work my whole life. And then they read this quote on the screen that says that our character must reflect the image of Jesus fully to receive the seal of God and pass in the time to trouble that at the end of time and they're ready to throw in it's al the brothers and sisters let me remind you of a couple things that's to Christ page 64 the closer you come to Jesus the more false the you will appear in your own eyes or your vision will be clearer and your imperfections will be seen in broad and distinct contrast to his perfect nature this is what the next word evidence that Satan's delusions have lost their power that the vivifying influence of the Spirit of God is arousing you know deep seated love for Jesus can dwell in the heart that does not realize its own sinfulness the Soul that is transformed by the grace of Christ will admire his divine character but if we do not see our own moral deformity it is unmistakable evidence that we have not had a view of the beauty an excellent Christ So yes those who pass the time of trouble and see Jesus come in the clouds will reflect the image of Jesus fully but we will never feel like we do the closer we come to Jesus the more faulty we appear in our own eyes so what are we told to do do not look at your own weaknesses look at Jesus check it out that's the Christ page 71 many who are really conscientious and who desire to live for God He too often say it speaking about leads to dwell upon their own faults and weaknesses and thus by separating them from Christ he hopes to gain the victory we should not make self the center and indulge anxiety and fear as to whether we shall be things. All this turns a soul away from the source of our strength rest in God He is able to keep that which you have committed to. The Libyans one verse 6 says Being confident of this very thing that he has begun a good work and you will completed until the day of Jesus Christ Hebrews 122 says where to look on to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith you see the reason we don't have to be anxious is not because we don't have to keep the Law of God It isn't because we don't have to overcome be setting sins and it isn't because we feel so worthy of salvation or so confident in our pristine characters it's because the author of our faith is more than able to be the finisher of our faith is because the Savior who began this work in us is more than able to complete it so it's OK to believe that the cleansing of the sanctuary involves the preparation of a people for the coming of Jesus because Hebrew says that without holiness no man shall see the Lord and it's OK and it's actually entirely Adventist to believe based on Revelation 14 that the 144000 who are taken to heaven at the coming of Jesus are those who faithfully follow the lamb wherever he goes it's entirely right to believe according to the same chapter that these translated ones will be without fall before the throne of God and it's OK to believe the spirit of prophecy when it says that the final generation will reflect the image of Jesus fully we do not have to give up our belief in these things in order to have assurance of salvation because our service is not based on our weakness it is based on Jesus strength I'd like you to notice something this text is absolutely incredible this quote from Aaron a 73. The time of trouble is the crucible that is to bring out Christ like character it is designed to lead the people of God to renounce Satan and his temptations the see the one who reflects the image of Jesus fully don't achieve it on their own the Lord Himself has designed experiences that will bring out Christ like characters and lead us to renounce Satan and his temptation I'm not saying this to discourage anyone but to encourage you you see there are times personally when I am ready to give up on myself I say Lord I'm just so hard headed and my character and habits are so ingrained I don't see how I'm ever going to make it but I will not let those feelings overwhelm me there I just do not live by feelings but by Frayne they think Jesus is the author and finisher I don't know how he's going to do it and be untruthful I don't have a clue Abby's going to do it I can't seem to figure out I've tried but I am not giving up I'm going to live my life frail and imperfect as it may be to the best of my silly ability for Jesus that's what I'm going to do and when I fall I'm going to get back up and when the devil tempts me with my wayward heart I'm going to openly acknowledge it and then I'm going to point to Jesus Jesus knows how to do it it's impossible to save someone like me but Jesus can do the impossible what can I tell you a when I cast my helpless soul on Jesus I find peace. As a lot of how you're going to do it when you've got to do every part of it like you know that whole cooperating with you part I need you to make me do that and I believe you will do it. I don't need to know how he's going to do it I refuse to sit around indulging anxiety as to how he can possibly save me I just need to believe it and keep doing my level best to follow the matter HOW many times I fall as it says in this quote Jesus has a plan. You don't know the plans I don't know the plans but there's plans designed by Jesus to lead the people of God to renounce Satan and his temptation he has designed experiences for my life some of the ones that I may even feel like boy after I went to that experience I went through the worst spiritual drought in my life he's even designed those experiences so that in the end he's going to bring out that Christ like character at last. Isn't that good news. Good news or talk to you a little bit about Christ like character what that how long do I have I have a lot I want to represent the next session to write but it's 315 right. I'm doing pentathlon. Yeah. Thank you it's good to have brothers and sisters. Faithful a fool I think of characteristics like love and purity and meekness and honesty and benevolent. And self-control and I think boy this is this is what I need. It's is what I need and. You know I think that sometimes we forget that the way that Jesus develops our character. Is not always the way we like because the the whole idea of developing character is that you don't have it right so like you need love develop when you are selfish and what have you right you need purity develop when you're impure or you know you need meekness when you're proud or what have you so when you know it but that Jesus has given in His Word ways for the people of God to practice and express and ingrained these types of character traits into their lives. And it's through Christ like lifestyle love he challenges by giving us calls apart from the world you recall 1st John 215 do not love the world or the things in the world if anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him so when we talk about the cultural. Entertainment of today as the world and how as 7th Day Adventists we have a higher standard of recreation then what people in the world do there's a reason for that is because we are on a path to Christ like character you understand so as 7th Day Adventists we can be classified somewhere in the 10 version of Matthew $25.00 right where either those who have the oil or are those who don't have the extra oil. And I think it's important to recognize in the parable of Matthew 25 of the 10 virgins that the oil is symbolic of the Spirit of God but it's also important to recognize that the way that you and I maintain the spirit of God in our life is actually by obtaining an experience with the Spirit of God So let me explain what that means the Bible says that the spirit when he comes will convict the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgment he will convict of what's wrong of what's right and he'll say there's going to be consequences to whatever you choose and ultimately this happens in order to bring us to repentance in fact when the Spirit of God brings conviction of sin to you that in essence is the gift of repentance. Because you would never turn from that path you're going down that sinful thing that you're doing if it hadn't been for the Spirit of God arresting your attention and causing you to feel that there was something wrong he's giving you the gift of repentance in the way that you repent is by cooperating with the Spirit of God that's working in your heart and life and surrendering your will to God Well this is the way that the Holy Spirit comes into the life and this is what we also might refer to as the development of character this is the development of character and those who have had a wrestling experience with God who go through their life in an effort to suppress evil inclinations and to cooperate with the Spirit of God are developing character and when you see those 5 who have the extra oil what they have is character. Because at the end remember the ones that don't have oil they go to the ones that have the oil they say oh you know please we need some oil and when I tell him I always thought how selfish they didn't give him any other oil you know that's not a good representation but it's symbolizing something that you cannot give someone you cannot give someone your character and experience you cannot believe for your brother or your sister you cannot help them to make that commitment that decision to avoid that simple choice just can't and when if they have gone down that path there are a lot through their lives and they're not prepared character they're going to fall it's like. We talked about during Sabbath school this last week with the Apostle Peter and I think Pastor Mark talked about it yesterday the whole idea of Peter's denial was that at that point in his life his reputation was more than his character and he needed greater development of character and it did not matter that he knew what Jesus told him he was going to do your character will find you out and that and the devil will make sure to bring the experiences that he has designed for you to make sure that your character finds you out so this is the development of character that we need but all all of those virgins let And I can't help but think that even as faithful 7th Day Adventist Christian many are sleeping in the area of the world. I mean God loving people sleeping in the area of worldly simply thinking. Oh I'm going to coast a little while and. You know because I really like. Watching these particular day I really like enjoying this particular activity I I know that I shouldn't but you know in the by and by August things right and this is the great danger of the 7th Avenue Church because Elm I says in the book that's cracked thousands will be lost because of this one really ugly P. word procrastination procrastination we need to get serious about this concept of worldliness even though well meaning as we are and God loving people as we are we know that the devil is trying to slowly bring down the effectiveness of God's people and then the next thing it happens and this is the scary part once the standard of godliness amongst God's people begin to be lowered more on an aggregate day then there begins to be a groundswell to adopt those views based on changing your THE your hermeneutic of how you interpret the Bible is the remember that the apostle says that in the last days that they will not endure their coming a time when they will not endure down Dr what does that mean endure. But up with it it means there's some there's something crossing them in their life in this sound doctrine and there comes a time there comes a point where they just say you know what I'm not going do that instead let's find people who will really kind of ease it up or a little bit of day let's make sure we get the right people to speak to us and member what it says in the text itching ears the right people to speak to us and this is not new to the end of time but I believe it's a bigger issue at the end of time but it's certainly throughout the history of the Bible you have do a study on the false prophet sometime you'll find that even in Jeremiah's day in and in the Apostle Paul day and what have you that they they tried to fix things superficially and they by basically saying peace peace when there is no P. and we have to be real careful because we have car or heart I mean I've often said the biggest worry that we have at the end of time is not being deceived by the signs and wonders though those are a big worry not being deceived by Satan appearing as Christ though that would be crazy but no the greatest worry we have is that we deceive ourselves you remember hearers of the word but not doers JANE SAYS deceiving yourself the if you hear the word but you don't do any start heaping up teachers to do give you a different Biblical interpretation that accommodates something that you have now as an aggregate begun to accept then you are deceiving yourself and this is the biggest challenge that we're going to have we need to be. Kind with one another being sympathetic and graceful toward one another but we need to be conscientious we need to be thinking about this because Jesus is coming right I mean this is not make believe we have the promise that the High Priest will one day finishes work and he'll lay off the priestly garments and he'll put on the Crown and he will come to deal out rewards one way or the other and we want to be ready we all want to be ready so we need to put on our alert hats again it's high time for all of us to awake and when it comes to building character it's not done in a moment that character that we want at the end to be able to that extra oil you're not going to flip the switch you understand we need to be thinking about that now to develop that Christ like character Christ like character of purity is. Often challenged by the lifestyle of sexual immorality and here we are in a day and age where Right is Wrong and wrong is right and who knows what's going on people really are confused they really think that even though what staring them in the face which is biological differences even though that staring them in the face that somehow there is a different part of that is totally could be something totally different I'm not here to get into the debate about actual. You know cognitive dissonance that can be going on and real very real temptations that people have as 7th Day Adventists if there's one thing that we need to be doing with anyone who experiences sexual immorality is we need to be sympathetic. And we need to be helpful I mean I mean think about it when you have a strong temptation the last thing you need is somebody who cannot in any way understand what you're saying so if there's anything we need to be it's showing empathy for people I fully believe that and I think that that's all good the awareness that that the church has been trying to give toward having that type of attitude the challenge that I have is when we begin to what I would say. Put a stamp on a particular style of living as. You know whether it's acceptable or legitimate in some way like we need to be really. Accepting of or kind to the L.G.B. to the community Well I don't really like even the whole idea of referring to them as the L G B T community as if that is a way to identify someone I just don't like it I think that the problem is we have so identified with these temptations that it's made people feel like they're locked in and so we need to be really careful how we even word things I believe though that we're at a day in age where everything will seek to be justified by the Bible I personally had the experience of of working with a young man who was. Experiencing temptation with same sex attraction and. Spent he was a Church member of mine and we spent time studying quite a quite a bit of time and after a period of time and part of the reason was because he wanted to study with me because he had felt that there Bickley he could support his new choice of livestock as he had not previously at that before that I did not know that he was thinking about and he began to strongly promote and what have you so I was kind of put a position where I really needed to talk to him that it out with him and we studied and went through the text and I've. Tried to be as transparent as I can with you that I've loved the man I mean he's a by young man and I have no reason to not study with him and take everything he's saying seriously and take it to heart but that was not what led me to believe differently than what he was expressing to me but you can go for instance to Romans chapter one where one of the 1st places we went and the conclusion that was drawn in Romans chapter one was very different than anything I had ever heard in Romans chapter one it says in verse 26 but this reason God gave them up to vile passions were even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature likewise also the men leaving the natural use of the woman burning their lust for one another and as we talked about it the explanation that was given to me was that the key to the text is that it's speaking about the natural use. So for a heterosexual the natural use of the woman is in a sexual relationship and so for the heterosexual It is shameful for them to be with a man with a man but for a homosexual the natural use is a man with a man so for a homosexual it is wrong for them to be with someone of the opposite gender and that's what the Apostle Paul was referring to then we went to the Vatican and we talked about the idea of lying with someone of the same gender being an abomination and he quickly showed me how the word was actually speaking about male prostitution and if you look at the context it's connected with idolatry and many other awful things this was not talking about a simple monogamous relationship between a man and a minute it was talking about a very specific occurrence that was very promiscuous and everything else now what I'm trying to tell you is that there are some people who. Who feel Wow And maybe I might have felt that way I don't think there's anybody that ever tried to explain this from the Bible I mean they might look to something outside the Bible but they would never try to explain about the Bible but it is quite clear that many people are aiming to explain it by the Bible using a very gymnastic style whatever it takes hermeneutic and I would dare say that in this case we do not accept that hermeneutic because many of us look and there is a certain level of. There's some level of discomfort with the idea of ever accepting something like this but in other areas where it's not as difficult to accept this or that practice. The same type or level of hermeneutic might be used but we don't get all worked up about it because we are not so uncomfortable with the conclusion that it might take us to my point is that it's an issue of biblical interpretation and unless we are honest with ourselves when it comes to the interpretation the Bible says there's big problems that he has in this like for instance the very next part of the birth the. Men are I'm sorry Likewise the men leaving the natural use of the woman burned and they're left for one another and I think he said well this is talking about heterosexuals who would be with homosexuals and because the natural use is for a woman so they shouldn't be with a man man with a man because they're heterosexual I said I'm sorry but heterosexual men don't burn with lust for other men and the text is saying that they were burning with lust for the man so my point is you can do some things but unless you can reconcile everything you're doing with the rest of the text and with the body of inspiration then you have to just say no that can't be it that can't be a the issue comes down to violence or station yes or no. And you can go. On and I can tell you that you know. That the Jewish speak of for my own experience kind of went that way where all of a sudden there were other behaviors and things that this individual never have been involved in or braised prior to that that you know this kind of opened the door I believe that that's very very true this particular issue is going to be a big one for us let me just tell you I'm a be as straight as I can. The Achilles heel for the 7th Avenue to church in places where they want to stick to the truth is going to be if you have the wrong attitude on this I mean I can see it if if you stick to the Bible but you you know growl like a bear it's going to be bad news for the 7 seventh's church you need to be clear need to be convicted but you need to have the love of Christ in your heart because here these are people we're talking about these are you know real people I mean I I mean you think about it these are our sons and daughters these are these are people that we need to be ministering to but we can't get. Foggy on the difficulty of the matter that point now let me flip to another one Nicknack is a character trait I don't I hope you see where I'm going here that we have character traits those character traits are connected to lifestyle and that faithfulness in lifestyle is a way that God gives us to build that character trait. You know and I didn't even take time to deal with the heterosexual immorality issues that we have and and I won't take time to talk about pornography and the like but the bottom line is this is an issue that happened very strongly in Sodom and Gomorrah and we understand that at the end of time it will be much like Sodom and Gomorrah So we need to be on guard this is us in our own lives I'm talking about now meekness is a sweet. Home bull character traits of Christ and the Bible connects that with modesty you know that in in. Verse Peter chapter 3 verses $3.00 and $4.00 the Apostle Paul. Says that we should not let our adorning not be that outward adorning. But let it be the hidden person the heart the meek and quiet spirit which he then says are very precious in the sight of God Now when you think about. Things that we refer to physical things that we refer to as precious in this world one of the 1st things that pops in your mind is gems OK So this whole idea I don't think was by accident that the Apostle was saying that it was saying yes in the world fully understand that if you present yourself in a way that. That is precious to the world wearing jewels and the rest of it it will attract the world but just be sure you understand that what's precious to God is a meek and quiet here that's what he's saying is saying When understand there is something as precious to God we have to decide who we're trying to please and where we're trying to get our approval from and this issue of modesty in dress and in a dormant is one that is we're about to lose a handle on. I was in a meeting not too long ago where we were talking about defining what it means to be a 7th Day Adventist disciple. And you know we talked about the advent of lifestyle and we listed out a few of the things involved in them and lifestyle and healthy living in stewardship and those types of things. But we didn't list anything about modesty and I thought well we probably ought to because in the fundamental belief I think number 22 on Christian behavior there are a few key areas that it dresses one is record entertainment in our choice of entertainment the 2nd is on modesty and then there's one more on health and temper and so I thought it probably be good for us if we're putting a little something in there and it's a thing about modesty and I couldn't quite convince the others in the room that we should put it on there and you know I think the understanding sometimes as well if you differently in different parts of the world and that sort of thing and we just need to be cautious that we don't you know whatever my concern is this if we try to be cautious about it to the point of not educating on it it will go away you understand and unfortunately we can't allow it to go away if we're bound by inspiration that comes back to the Bible if you've not had someone study this issue with you from the Bible this is a more thorough treatment that you could get in the discipleship handbook we have a whole chapter on it but I'll take you to one text and I think one text this one tax is probably the most. You know direct text and that is found in 1st Timothy earth Timothy Chapter 2 and this happens to be in the same the Senate the as the passage we looked at a couple days ago. We're going to start in verse 9. 1st of the 2 and verse 9 and he found it the Bible says In like manner also that the women adorn themselves in what modest apparel now well read the whole thing in the will come back with propriety in moderation not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing but which is proper for women professing godliness with good works so a few things off the top here this I believe the principles here which are relating to women because they perhaps are more common among women apply equally to men. Furthermore the text uses the phrase in the English braided hair I personally do not believe this is talking about a simple braid. There are studies that have been done I don't know that any of them are 100 percent conclusive but that the word greater Broyard refer to an elaborate style at that time and often times tools weave through whatever the ME The issue is at the very context is talking about ornamenting or adorning or or ostentatious yet and I don't see a simple braid in any way oftentimes a practical thing and so I don't think that's what's being addressed here at all and I don't think that the word necessarily translates to braided as we would see it exactly today that doesn't mean that I don't think it certainly can be ostentatious it was some braided hair and that certainly is something that people should think about but if you look at the text I want to point out a few key points innit. 1st of all it says to dress in modest apparel now modest is a principle and modesty obviously refers to being adequately adequately clothed but the Apostle Paul primarily uses it to speak of not being ornamental or showy if you will that's how he primarily used it because notice the things that he talks about costly clothing you don't talk about clothing that doesn't cover you enough he's talking about being to us and patience in the way you dress so but notice something else in here he has this list of items and it begins by expressing what list of items is not modest that's the exact way he does it he says. That the women adore themselves in modest apparel with pride in moderation not with now the words not with that phrase implies not with any that's exactly what it implied it would be like if I you know went to. You know Bob Evans and went in to order an omelet and I said. Yeah like an omelet but not with onions and peppers and then they brought me the omelet and I see like an onion sticking out of one half part in a pepper 2nd a half and I say I'm sorry I don't know if you heard me but I or this not with onions and peppers it's an IRA Jenna that's why I didn't put very many in there. Right I mean that the language means not with any I mean that's what it implies he says dress in modest apparel not with these things right so then when he left the things here's the interesting thing you'll want to know that there are 2 things that are qualified and 2 things that are not. 2 things that are qualified by a type of word that in English language we're here for to as what an adjective to do things that have an adjective in front of them WHAT ARE THEY HAIR AND what's in them that has an adjective in front of it clothing Now why would you put an adjective in front of hair and clothing because hair is not always a modest right so you have to describe when it becomes image and clothing is not always immodest you have to describe when it is immodest but notice that it does not say expensive gold or. Costly pearls or even you know. Lots of or huge or there's no adjective because the thing about wearing the jewels is they are by nature immodest because they're very purpose is ornamentation At least that's what he's referring to is that which is for ornamentation So what you're describing what you're seeing here is is a contrast because notice the last part of the verse it says but verse 10 but I'm going to add the word that so that it's a little bit clearer to you that that is implied but that which is proper for women professing God Now when he says but which is proper for were fessing godliness What is he saying about the things in the list that they are not proper for women professing godliness so what do we call a woman who's professing goven is a Christian woman so he's saying it's not proper for a Christian woman to wear these things but they should wear that which is proper for a woman professing godliness with good works. So what is the thing he's saying let your dormant be your character and let it not be the outward any any lists out certain things now this is not exclusive to this passage because the one I mentioned earlier from Peter also says that your dormant not be that outward adorning but let it be that in Word of a meek and quiet spirit and then you go to Revelation and you know this you look at Revelation and you have these women in Revelation and women symbolize the church so you have in Revelation Chapter 12 this woman was she clothed with that is the true church. Lots of things. She is clothed with the sun the moon the stars go look at it in Revelation 12 the sun the moon the stars Now this is what's fascinating to me I was thinking about this one day and I was they are the sun the moon the stars and then just hit me like a ton of bricks in the Bible to the name for that in the heavens and then boom Psalm $101.00 is that we write in the forest The heavens declare the glory of God Well in the Bible what's the glory of God This is character that's right this is describing this church symbolically being dressed with the character of Christ and is there any artificial ornamentation on that 1st woman any Nothing you go to the 2nd woman of Revelation Chapter 17 and you find that she is clothed with. The scarlet at the coffee clothing right and she's got precious jewels and etc How much natural light is she wearing. None I mean this is the thing in the New Testament that the big argument is well yeah we should be whatever but we should be you know like. The big not totally saying that it's. Wrong but that it's just in moderation no if you look at the Apostle Paul you look at the Apostle Peter and you look at the pictures in Revelation every case it's one or the other they're actually being demonstrated as having some conflicting principle in reality and so that's the picture that we see in the Bible now I want you to notice a couple things Ellen White says and eventually on page 268 the idolatry of dress is what kind of a disease you see the issue is that people want to say you know it doesn't matter as long as you have a relationship with God you know these other things are no big deal but when you look at it and you see that these are dealing with the development of character right because this is dealing with humility and meekness in the development of Christian character then you recognize that this has moral implications and Ellen White affirms that in most cases submission the Gospel requirements will demand a decided change direction and then of course if you want to know plainly what the evidence is ition has been presented as from the Spirit of Prophecy self-denial and dress is part of our Christian duty to dress plainly and abstain from display of jewelry an ornament and every kind is in keeping with our fate that's what we've always held to a 7th Avenue that's why I say if you if you want to kind of ignore and do away then you have to then you're you have to deal this for a sions any We want to maintain what the Bible in the Spirit of Prophecy want us to maintain you understand of course that on this particular issue many Christian nominations used to hold the same position that we did. You know you can think of of prominent preachers like Spurgeon the Baptist prince of preachers he taught the same as we believe you think of John Wesley the founder of Methodism he taught what we believe Charles Finney from the great 2nd awakening and here in the United States he taught as we believe and we can look at the end of Baptists who were the forerunners of Baptists and they all thought what we believe but what happens to the nominations what is what begins to happen culture. Is Why I'm telling you culture changes the way that we interpret the Bible it gets united enough if culture is in one voice strongly enough and begins to make you look like you are like from who knows where to stick the hold onto the view that you have then suddenly different ones in the church start arguing the issue and eventually it begins to build and the aggregate begins to feel that way and then they modify a different interpretation of the Bible and if you look even today in the New King James in the 1st Peter chapter 3 and it talks about let not your adornment be that outward adorning it says a lot and not merely be and there's the word merely as an Italian as because it's been added to to try and make it sound like what they think the Apostle was trying to say but it's not what he said and so we need to recognize that culture has a way and it has a way in our own church of making these types of of things is a quick question because I only a few minutes go ahead yes we certainly don't want sir and there are some men who actually want their wives to dress that way with jewels or what have you because it's sort of. A status thing or something go for shirt something that everybody needs to be faithful and what about honesty what does God given us to develop honesty returning a faithful side right I mean it belongs to God. We are also told that were to be benevolent but many are withholding offering what I'm trying to show you is that the lifestyle things that we sometimes argue about as no big deal are actually things that God has given us to develop the character that's preparing us for the coming again you know this isn't just a matter of whether you're going to have enough to pay to know this is testing us these things that scripture give us test our loyalty to God and and build up a Christ like character characters not produced in a moment character is produced by the little things the choices of our lives and if we are seeing any of these areas that we're challenged in then we know that we need to get on our knees before God and say God. I was looking at it in a certain way but now I see that it's a character issue and I need that Christ like character and so please make me faithful make me faithful and then of course self-control has this challenge of intemperance now you know we could talk about a lot of things within temperance I certainly know that in. I mean I was in some circles people believe I was talking recently in the joke on building about the idea that. Our understanding of being vegetarian is an Adventist thing but not a biblical thing and I conceded that the Bible is very clear that it's not a sin to eat cleaning but having said that it's also not true that it is not a biblical thing to promote a vegetarian diet. Because we know that in Genesis in the beginning before sin a vegetarian diet was given to humanity we also know that when Jesus was talking about divorce he said you know is it OK to Doris for any reason he said Well Moses allowed you because the hardness of your heart but in the beginning it was not so and in saying it Jesus is pointing back to the beginning before sin as the ideal for humanity and so in the same way as the Sabbath is the ideal for humanity and marriage is the ideal for Humanity this diet is the ideal for humanity it doesn't make it then if you you know have other things are not going to get over the top but it certainly is the ideal for humanity especially for those who are preparing for the coming of Jesus and then when you look at Heaven it says there will be no more death and so everyone in heaven will be a Sabbath keeping vegetarian and so why not start preparing now you have every right to teach that as a biblical principle and there's no harm or shame in doing it now having said that I want to know I've got hands with look at how much time I have 0 So here's the other issue we are struggling with whether or not it's OK to dabble in the wine so I don't have time to get into it but a bag or more accepted thing is Starbucks man what are we doing. Selected messages book 3 page 287 he coffee tobacco and alcohol we must present as sinful indulgences we cannot place on the same ground this is for the extremists that need the you know balance put there we cannot put on the same ground meat eggs butter cheese and such articles placed upon the table you get all that. These are not to be borne in front as the burden of our work the former and she lets them again see coffee tobacco beer wine and all spiritual slickers are not to be taken moderately but discarded you know what discarded me. Known as maggots and. The poisonous narcotics notice which he calls all of those things are not to be treated in the same way as the subject of AIG butter and cheese now lest we somebody go crazy on me Ellen White there was chocolate in her day and she never actually wrote a condemnation of it that doesn't make it healthy dying it does not make it healthy but there is a degree here of concentration that she's talking about that is made these things you know it's like it's like saying if somebody is wrong for going to decaf because as a little bit in it I mean it's not the best thing for you but yes go from regular to decaf if that's what you need to do and then eventually you moved on to Roma herb tea right and then fundamental to Christian education pays to anyone is how many clothes there are many in the church who at heart belong to the world but God calls upon those who claim to believe the advance truth to rise above the present attitude of the pocket churches of today where as a self-denial where the cross bearing the crisis that should characterize his followers the reason we have had rediscovered the reason we have had so little influence upon unbelieving relatives and associates is that we have manifested little decided different in our practices from those of the world we like to say the opposite parents need to awake and purify their souls by practicing the truth in their whole life when we reach the standard that the Lord would have us reach when we reach the standard that the Lord would have us reach worldlings will regard 7th Day Adventist as I think you are. Straight laced extremists we are made a spectacle on to the world and Angel and to men rather than sisters one of the best things you can do for the development of your character is to bear the reproach of Christ and He has given us distinct lifestyle practices for the very purpose of helping us to develop a character for heaven and because it's the best for our life and because he wants us to be happy and he wants to have a good experience as it says a step to Christ God never takes away anything that would be for our best interest to retain God has our good in mind and he has our character development in mind how many of you want to say Lord Jesus help me to develop a character like your Father in heaven thank you for the time we've had we pray that the future of Aben a slight style will be bright among those in this room and we pray that the future of Adventism will be shown to us by you as you unfold to us the glorious future that awaits us we know that the future of Adventism is bright We know that you're going to see a safely through to the end we know that one day the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout with a voice of the archangel and with the trump of God in the dead in Christ will rise 1st and then we Lord willing in this room we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet you in the air and thus will always be with you Lord Jesus please for Paris for that day and let not one of the new law in Jesus' name him in this media was brought to you by audiotapes 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 sermon leave it to W.W.W. dot audio Verse dot org.


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