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The Government of God and Discipline

Phil Mills Sr.


Phil Mills Sr.

Dermatologist in Northern Georgia


  • January 27, 2019
    10:45 AM
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Our text this morning Mark 1615 going to all the world and preach the gospel to every creature is this regionally limited This is the 7th Day Adventist Church take Christ commission seriously when individuals are baptized they become part of a worldwide movement that proclaims the gospel message not to limited regions but to the entire earth with church membership My voice is added to a United worldwide church voice How is the voice of God described in Revelation 115 His voice is the sound of many waters How is the voice of the church described in Revelation 1906 and I heard is it one of the voice of a great multitude as the sound of many waters both the voice of God and the voice of the Church Triumphant are depicted as the sound of many waters for they are to be the same voice God desires his voice to be heard through the words and the lives of the members of the church from every nation tribe and people speaking in every language around the globe notice Revelation 2270 the spirit in the Bride say Come But those who here are to do what I say come as well man's words have any value echo the words of God counsels to parents teachers and students for 23 Notice how Peter says the same thing if any one speaks let him speak as the oracles of God Notice how Paul says the same thing you are a pistol's written in our hearts known and read by all men and Helen White says in every one of his children Jesus sends a letter to the world if you are Christ followers follower he sends in you a letter to the family the village the street the dorm room that's not in there but it is where you live. Jesus dwelling in you desires to speak to the hearts of those who are not acquainted with him and he wants you to be the medium of delivering his message see Mary filled with the Holy Spirit had Jesus born in her and she says sample of every Christian the filled of the Holy Spirit Jesus is born in us and we deliver Jesus His Word to the world if you've ever had the privilege of singing in a mass choir or listening to a mass choir you knew that no the beauty and power of thousands of voices I was going to play a recording but it can't be captured by electrical devices it must be experienced 1st Corinthians $110.00 now I plead with you brother and by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you all speak the same thing that there be no divisions among you but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind in the same judgment leading this choir this grand mass choir is Jesus how do each of us have any important voice in this choir at the height of the Kellogg crisis in 1904 the General Conference president Agee Daniels is being accused of kingly power Ellen White wrote an important article Notice how I am a part of the worldwide choir volume 8 of the testimonies page 236 every member of the church has a voice in choosing officers of the church. So my voice is heard in selecting officers for the church this is how our constituents work in select. Leaders how careful we should be in selecting our church representatives to conference constituencies the church chooses the officers of the state conferences delegates chosen by the state conferences choose the offices of the Union conference and delegates chosen by the union conferences choose the officers of the General Conference by disarrangement every conference every institution every church and every individual who is that me every individual either directly or through representatives has a voice in the election of the man who bear the chief responsibilities in the General Conference default if you're a 7th Day Adventist you have a voice in selecting every leader of this church is this a wise arrangement let's compare this to the way God organized the church in both the Old and the New Testament what was the theocratic model of selection of government leaders a stablished by Moses in the Old Testament Deuteronomy 112 and 13 verse 12 how can I loan Bear your problems and your burdens in your complaint choose wise understanding and knowledgeable men from among your tribes and I will make them heads over you what were they to do they were to select the leaders of their love their local leaders and then Moses would confirm that selection what was the church government model established by the Apostles in the New Testament. X. $63.00 and this is from the H. C. S. be there for Brother select from among you 7 men of good reputation full of the spirit in wisdom whom we can appoint to this duty so they were to select from among themselves and they were to vote on this they would take 7 men of good reputation full of the spirit and wisdom These were the criteria from which they were to select their leaders and then the disciples would confirm that selection and verse chapter 15 verse 2 but after Paul and Barnabas had engage them in serious argument and debate the church arranged for Paul and Barnabas and some others of them to go up to the Apostles and elders in Jerusalem concerning this controversy now is this representative church the lacs every member has a voice is this representative church authority a top down hierarchy ill or Papal system of government it was through such representative government that our pioneers selected the name 7th Day Adventist and adopted the biblical doctrines and biblical practices that are a precious legacy that we hold today biblical legacy a few weeks ago I received a call from a member of a church in another state the minister had called for an unscheduled church board the Sabbath immediately after that church service so he had an unscheduled board he said we want to have the board meeting right after church the pastor had been studying with a former mathematic and though the individual was still smoking cigarettes had set a time for this individual's baptism his family and friends had been invited and the pastor was seeking permission from the church board to baptize this individual who was still smoking cigarettes how would you have voted. Should the church accept into its fellowship a member who was smoking but wanted to join the church by Baptists or does M After all he had quit meth because the Gospel is worldwide the local church acts on be half of the world church when it baptizes new members and welcomes them into the worldwide fellowship of 7th Day Adventists or if it becomes necessary to disfellowship them because the local church is acting on behalf of the world church it is only authorized to accept candidates for membership or members for disfellowship based on the World Church voted beliefs and criteria outlined in the church menu since the local church represents the world church it can't bend the rules to fit local members or pastors whims that protects you but it also is a a protection to that somebody can't just willy let Nelly remove you from the church but it is also a protection that you can't just willy nilly bring somebody in Furthermore the local member represents the 7th Day Adventist world wide and is not free to do what ever the member pleases. Me read from the church manual one of the 13 questions that is to be asked of each person before accepting them into church membership this is question number 10 Do you believe that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. And who will you honor God by caring for it avoiding the use of that which is harmful and abstaining from all unclean foods from they use manufacture or sale of alcoholic beverages from the use manufacture or sale of tobacco in any of its forms for human consumption and from the misuse of or trafficking in narcotics or other drugs so that is what is necessary before a person can come into the 7th Day Adventist worldwide fellowship and that's not subject to my vote or your vote except if it was taken to the worldwide church for worldwide church authorization or denial and here is what the manual says also constitutes grounds for removal from church membership the use manufacture or sale of tobacco in any of its forms for human consumption so when I become a church member I am agreeing to unite with the world church and to act in harmony with the world body of believers just as God has given parents the authority and responsibility to redemptive Lee discipline their children a church has been given the authority and responsibility to redemptive Lee discipline recalcitrant members the local church has the authority and responsibility to discipline local members and local church entities but they are not a law unto themselves they are to act in harmony with the Adventist Church worldwide. The core biblical beliefs and practices which unite the Adventist Church worldwide have been voted by wide margins in general conference sessions which is our worldwide church business meeting and overarching authority for members and church institutions and I want you to imagine a church with a member that rejects this church authority and effectively promotes false doctrines within the church and dismembers ideas begins threading for flagrant apostasy within the church and to other area churches I want to just imagine this what if the local church at a church business meeting is on able to discipline the member and only a minority of concerned members recognize the danger then what what if the majority of a local church follow this individual in his apostasy how careful Should churches should be in the selection of their representatives to the wider conference constituency for this is has the responsibility to low to discipline local churches and conference institutions in harmony again with the world church the conference constituency also selects the officers of the conference which are responsible for selecting faithful pastors for the local conference that will be shepherds to the flock and strengthen the work of God But what if a local conference constituency like the local church also refuses to discipline fragrant apostasy in its churches and appoints ministers preaching rebellion against Bible doctrines and practices like small pox you see the apostasy has spread from an individual to a church and now is afflicting an entire conference in our imaginary scenario now. It has happened in early administration in Wisconsin and Iowa later in Indiana now what can be done the union constituency have the authority and responsibility to redemptive Lee discipline row conference and union union institutions and this is how delegated authority works the union constituents also select union officers that approve candidates for ordination just as the local church acts on behalf of the world church and its selection of church members the constituents are authorizing the local union to act on behalf of the world church when it selects individuals for ordination and by this act Oct authorizes them to be representatives and spokesman not for its region alone but church Furthermore just as the local church is authorized to disfellowship a member of. The union is authorized as a representative of the world the union is authorized as a representative of the world church to de frock a minister for cause and just as was done with Desmond for I want to pause here a moment to review church organisation because many people do not fully understand the structure of the church individual members joined together and they form churches groups of Churches are combined into conferences and groups of conferences make up unions groups of unions form hint it's not divisions what do they form. Groups of unions surprisingly to most people it is the unions that combined to form the General Conference it is all the unions that make up the World Church. The General Conference then is divided into divisions that's why they're called divisions they're a division of the General Conference at this time there are 13 divisions there the General Conference in this division the General Conference in session 2 has the authority and responsibility to choose the leaders of its various divisions and 92 to 60 God has ordained that the representatives of his church from all parts of the earth when assembled in a general conference Shell have what authority notice the word inspiration chose ordained the church ordains individuals which delegates authority to them but God has ordained the church which gives the church authority for the General Conference to when necessary has the authority and responsibility to redemptive Lee discipline rogue unions and Division the institutions from much experience the church has developed biblically based policies to guide this process what is rebellion rebellion is resisting God ordained authority in the home the church or the state the Bible applique calls being rebellious stiff necked although I have a picture of a stiff neck goat the source of the expression is a horse that refuses to turn its head in response to it on the reins it is often accompanied by the accusation that leadership is dictatorial the same accusation made against Jesus by Lucifer in heaven the Bible is plain rebellion is very very serious but did Samuel compare rebellion to. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness is that as iniquity in a Dollar Tree when you are in with rebellious people dear folk you are in like you were in with a coven of witches so witchcraft Ellen White compared it to cancer and stated that open rebellion becomes incurable and Paul said a little leaven lemmas the whole lump because of its danger it must be recognized early and eradicated fully God instructed Israel to severely discipline those who rebellious refusing external control notices Deuteronomy 2118 if a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother and who when they have chastened them will not heed them then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city to the gate of his city and they shall say to the elders of his city this son of ours is stubborn and rebellious he will not obey our voice he is a glutton and a drunkard then all the men of his city shall stone him to death with stones so usual put away the evil from among you and all Israel show here and fear notice that here God gave His step wise compliance policy the son was to be verbal A admonished by the parents 2nd if the parental verbal warnings were rejected parental punishment was to be added It was only when this 2 proved insufficient to change the son's course that his case was to be taken to the elders of the city if the elders were also also unable to change the son's rebellion the rebellion was considered incurable the elders must then inflict the final severe punishment on this obdurate rebel though the son could not be saved his punishment punishment my save many others throughout Israel. Patriarchs and prophets 325 God is the guardian as well as the sovereign of his people he cuts off those who are determined upon rebellion that they may not lead others to ruin it was the mercy of God that thousands should suffer to prevent the necessity of visiting judgments upon millions in order to save the many read it with me he must punish the few to help us better a better understand authority God has left a number of Biblical examples of how rebellion must be handled one such example is HOF 9 Phinney has the wicked sense of the high priest though Eli took the 1st step in dealing with his son's rebellion and Mohnish them he never took the subsequent steps in God's compliance policy we are told he should 1st have attempted to restrain evil by mild measures but if these did not avail he should have subdued the wrong by the severest means and there are other important examples in Scripture Joshua 1123 So Joshua took the whole land according to all that the Lord had said to Moses and Joshua gave it as an inheritance to Israel according to their divisions by their tribes just as there are 13 divisions in the general conference there were 12 divisions in Israel during the days of the judges for each tribe was a division you see the church is modeled after the biblical model though the tribes were regional and responsible for the conquest of their regions they were not independent of the decisions of the entire nation of Israel when 2 and a half tribes on the east side of Jordan appeared to be building a competing sanctuary the remainder of the tribes demanded an explanation and would have gone to war against those tribes had they actually been guilty of rebellion. When blatant sodomy was practiced in the city within the tribe of Benjamin and this tribe refused to punish it Benjamin was given no regional variant the remaining divisions of Israel went to war against that tribe and actually dissolved it before later reconstituting the tribe you can see the story study in the story in Judges in 1921 and the story ends with an important summary that we must not miss Israelites were not given regional variance to do whatever they thought was right in their region judges 2125 in both of the above cases the Israelites were following a compliance policy God had given them if you hear someone this is Deuteronomy 1312 or 15 if you hear someone in one of your cities saying corrupt men have gone out from among you and entice the inhabitants of their city saying let us go and serve other gods which you have not known what should an Israelite do when he heard a report about apostasy in Israel and this is what it says it goes on then you should enquire search out and ask diligently So you weren't to accept it uncritically or reject it uncritically you were to examine the evidence the N.I.V. says enquire probe and investigated thoroughly The N.T.S.B. says investigate and search out and inquire thoroughly this is necessary for it may be a false report but when the report is true the apos Daves will deny it professed loyalty to God and justify their actions inspiration calls it the B witching Sophos tree by which rebellion would seek to justify itself this careful investigation must determine if it is indeed true and certain that such an abomination was committed it needs to be true it needs to be certain that it's true that such an abomination was committed where. Monga you this is God's instruction to his people you show surely strike the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sort out early destroying it all that is in it and its livestock with the edge of the sword you either destroy it or it will destroy you and I don't quit listening here you'll go and draw some wrong conclusions till we get to what how this is applied in the New Testament but this is how cancer must be dealt with it must be detected early eradicated fully and that's the loving thing to do when the immune system in the body is functioning well it recognizes and eliminates what is dangerous and alien to the body of course we're no longer under the old covenant theocracy yet these biblical stories are to be instructive for us today for Paul tells us now all these things happened to them as examples and they were written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the ages have come what should be done today Paul illustrates how discipline is to be administered under the new covenant Let him who has done this be what removed from among you inspiration explains manuscript 82881001 it's sometimes comes right to the point where you cannot force a grown person to any course of action because God compels no one to obey Him It is left for you to lay out the principles if they refused to accept the principles then separate them from the institution that's the course of action to take Adam and Eve chose to not live by the rules of the garden what did the loving Jesus do separated them from the garden did he force them to live by the rules of the garden no Adam and Eve had to move elsewhere they had to find a different home all there pleading and promising didn't change that that discipline of God that was the loving thing for God to do Cain heard the story as he grew up he thought that God was unfair. God's discipline rightly done will have people that. Bear carry a grudge about it for the rest of their lives it's just the way it is God is left this for parents to know how to handle situations where their children who are old enough to be considered grown decide they don't want to live by the rules of the home and this is the course of action to take for homes schools churches and conferences unions in the General Conference but that isn't where discipline should began discipline notice what the next sentences in the quotation discipline commences with. Me the person with the individual we might say with me with you proper discipline begins with ourselves without self discipline we can never properly discipline others is not possible those who are self-indulgent will never be able to exercise proper discipline when David became and disciplined with Daschle but he lost his discipline of his home page prophet 727 the shameful crime of am in the firstborn was permitted by David to past and punish an un revealed why this failure of discipline the law was clear it pronounced death upon the adulterer and the unnatural crime of Ammon and made him doubly guilty but David self condemn for his own sin failed to bring the offender to justice discipline defocus begins not with them but with me Eli could not discipline his family because he could not discipline himself notice how God reveals us about you like for Samuel for 18 ill I fell off the seat backward by the side of the gate and his neck was broken and he died for he was old and heavy. He was not in disciplined in his own life he was indulgent with himself with his own diet and consequently he was indulgent with his family after discipline David's lack of self discipline with Daschle but not only did he fail to discipline where it was needed he overreacted and harsh an angry discipline where it shouldn't have been done this is why we must begin with self discipline you remember the story Nathan the prophet came to David with his little parable there were 2 men in a certain town one rich and the other poor the rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle but the poor man had nothing except one little Ulam he had bought he raised that he grew up with him and his children he shared its shared his food and drank from his cup and even slept in his arms it was like a daughter to him now a traveler came to the rich man but the rich man refrain from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveller who had come to him instead he took the Ulama that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him so David's anger was greatly A roust against the man and he said to Nathan as the Lord lives the man who has done this show surely die and he show restore fourfold for the lamb because he did this thing and because he had no pity the Bible says that a thief should be should restore fourfold this was the pop proper punishment but it does not demand the life of the thief you don't take the life of an individual that doesn't have pity Eli was and disciplined with himself making him impatient and harsh with Hannah whose heart was breaking and so she went to the temple to pray now Hannah spoke in her heart only her lips move but her voice was not heard therefore I thought she was drunk so ill I said or how long will you be drunk put your wine away from the. You see discipline must be commencing with ourselves or we will never have proper discipline with others we will be over indulgent on the one hand to those that deserve discipline and will be in a harsh and over discipline to those who do not parents must educate their children for their present happiness and for their future eternal happiness discipline. Then you see moves from us to our homes here discipline 1st involves education parents must educate their children we must teach our children this is the spec at the 2nd step home discipline education education notice how Ellen White repeats and emphasizes the 1st 2 steps of discipline parents having 1st learned obedience themselves they have disciplined themselves they are prepared to bring up their children to obey strictly So their 1st direct with themselves and that's the necessary 1st step in being prepared to be parents to bring up children that obey strictly C. most of the parents in our land bring up children to obey partially strict obedience is expected no half work is to be done children are to understand that they are told but when we discipline ourselves primarily our work with our children will be to encourage them but we'll know when we need to. Encourage them with discipline anything less than this is teaching our children to disobey as we're teaching. When fathers and mothers discipline their children in the fear of the Lord they may have a church in their home so God wants us to 1st develop a church within our home discipline ourself children educated and obedient strictly learning to strictly obey Jesus then they're prepared for the church to have their names recorded on the church books and to work in the church nobody without this is really prepared and discipline in the church has been and I want you to notice 3 different words that she uses 1st the 1st word she says is neglected the 2nd word she uses and the Galactic and the 3rd were it is and the galactic I think she might mean that it's been neglected What do you think. Until there is existing a disorganized state of things that's not pleasing to God we want to do only that which pleases him many names now retained on the church books should be dropped because a local church is a representative body of the world church it's no small thing for a conference to Burbage pastors and churches to knowingly accept practicing homosexuals into church fellowship or to perform wedding ceremonies for homosexuals neither it is is it a small thing for a union to allow schools under its jurisdiction to promote and teach evolution or to defy the world church which based on the Bible does not allow women ordination as a regional variant such flagrant rebellion cannot be allowed to continue for the very existence of the 7th Day Adventist Church is at stake speaking of the rebellion of the Israelites at Sinai we are told had not the evil been promptly put away they would soon have fallen prey to their numerous and powerful foes. When admonition and warning fails increasingly severe discipline becomes a necessity the church has been merciful and for bearing exceedingly mild policies were just voted at the annual Council these mild wet measures are now being denounced as top down hierarchy dictatorial papal keep this in mind for will be glowing at this again in a few moments vying for Page 17 Many do not realize the sacredness of church relationship and are low to submit to restraint and discipline their course of action shows that they exalt their own judgement above that of the United Church and they're not careful to guard themselves lest they encourage a spirit of opposition to it that is the church's voice. Page 19 and belief suggests that individual in Independence increases our importance that is we to yield our own ideas of what is right and proper to the verdict of the church let's pause on the statement for a moment Paul warns us take heed brother and lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God how do we depart from the living God and belief to believe that it is weak to yield our own ideas of what is right and proper to the verdict of the church is a form of unbelief that could not only take us and others out of the church but notice the remainder of the statement but to yield to such feelings and views is unsafe and will bring us into anarchy and confusion God wants us safe he wants us to avoid Anarky in confusion What's another name for confusion babbling. Every believer should be whole hearted in his attachment to the church its prosperity should be his 2nd interest is what his 1st interest and unless he feels under sacred obligation to make his connection with the church a benefit to it in preference to himself it can do far better without him that's a very sobering statement is the prosperity of the church my or your 1st interest do I feel a sacred obligation to make my connection with the church a benefit to it in preference to myself that's an important measure of a teacher within the church as well what does it mean to be whole hearted whole hearted means in we're to love God with what all our hearts that mean it means that the interest of God is more important in my self-interest that's what it means and there are not very many whole hearted Christians let not false teachers confusion minds and unsettle your faith by casting Mary Pope Rocher upon those whom God has sent to you sent you with messages of warning and instruction you see false teachers confuse minds and unsettle faith because they cast reproach upon God's servants remember that it is not mere man whom you have to meet but principalities and powers and wicked spirits in high places you see there were high places in all Testament there are high places in the New Testament time of our times now is the very time when Satan is working with all this evil bonus of unrighteousness let's notice the false methods the methods of full teachers use. We notice one method in this passage casting reproach on God's messengers messengers with messages of warning and instruction we notice another another they endeavor to establish themselves an evil doing by silencing every voice of disapproval now when you see at temps to silence the statements of truth of Scripture of Spirit of Prophecy that is trying to establish yourself and right in evil doing by silencing voices of disapproval that's what they have did against a life Alija I should say let's. Notice another. High Calling 360 they work in the same manner as did say in heaven when he deceived the angels by his artful representation. That is he misrepresented his representation as were a misrepresentation of what do they miss represent placing darkness for light they misrepresent darkness and call it light even new light and making the forbearance and Mercy of God to appear as harshness and severity not amazing they misrepresent the forbearance and mercy of the church to as harshness and severity as he that is loose for work at the beginning so he works in the end only concealing himself more perfectly from view he's even better at it than he was in heaven many are in reality fighting Satan's battles while they profess to serve under the banner of Christ these traitors in the camp may not be suspected but they are doing their work to create unbelief discord and strife now what is unbelief again to believe that it is weak to yield their own ideas of what is right and proper to the verdict of the church that's a form of. Unbelief that could only take us and others out of the church but notice the remainder of the statement such are the most dangerous foes while they insinuate themselves into our favor and gave our again our confidence and sympathy they are busily suggesting doubts and creating suspicion look and protect us from this it is not enough that we have the theory of the truth its principles must be in wrought in the soul and exemplified in the life or we shall fall a prey to the delusions prepared for the last days it's not enough for us to possess the truth we must have brothers and sisters the truth Poe's S. us how can we have truth and wrought in our souls in true religion will be found a great true is clearly defined in words and in rot in the life of its professors as a principle from the divine author how does this happen in true religion the Holy Spirit will work in connection with human agents confirming the truth of God This is the difference between having oil in our lamps no oil in our lamps between being wise virgins or otherwise virgins wise or otherwise and therefore look it is this that I want in my life is that what you want in your life where does it began. With me I want to have discipline. I want to have the Holy Spirit bring my thoughts into captivity I want the Holy Spirit to have control of my heart and their father we united they want this. We ask that you come into our hearts changes we pray and send us the Holy Spirit so that we can be self disciplined and then why is loving in our. Plying the principles of discipline. To our children. To students. To others we thank you for hearing me answering this prayer Christ. This media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio 1st if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.


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