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Logo of Michigan Camp Meeting 2018: As a Witness, Matthew 24:14

1. Orientation

Mark Howard Kameron DeVasher




  • June 15, 2018
    7:00 PM
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Do you really Father thank you so much for another day of life thank you that we can be right here right now on this day for this purpose what a blessing it is not only to be allowed to have a relationship with you but also in your wisdom that you have entrusted us as your code laborers in this work of redemption or do we want to take that seriously we want to be about our father's business so now as we turn our attention to our time here we want to dedicate ourselves once again to you we want to invite and appeal that you would sing to us Your Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth to soften our hearts to sharpen our minds to make us more like Jesus that we may be faithful and useful in his cause for we pray it in Jesus' name amen I'll tell you just a very very little bit about myself because you didn't come to learn about me you came a learn about information and resources and tools you can put to use as a missionary but I came from the south as we were just talking about with our dear sister but what was your name again Sister Evelyn thank you for being here she is from my hometown of Madison Tennessee and I went to when I grew up I grew up in the 7 devastation I like to joke that I am the single most Adventist person on the planet I was born to 77 his parents in I 77 a hospital that my mom worked at that hospital and. My parents went to the church just across the street from the hospital. And they still do to this day I went to school at the school across the street from the church and elementary school and then when it was time for high school I went to the admin to see Cademy across the next treat right on the same campus more I was born went to church went to elementary school went to academy and when it was. When I was old enough I had to leave home finally and I went to college but of course I went we had a college inside of Tennessee at that time and it just recently got a name change to Southern administration of versity but it was a couple hours from our home and I went there and till I was 22 years old I was and then I took I got a degree in the only thing that I don't have the only thing but it's certainly the thing I was most prepared in life for which was religious education if that's all I'd had was a religious education so I got a degree in religious education I went and got a job at an admin a stick out of me and in that sense that time I have married an ad been a slate we have 3 little 7 children. And I'm right here in the Michigan conference of 7th Day Adventists right I was literally born in the church I haven't left yet and I used to think about that not being a powerful testimony but I realize I looking around the statistics not bear out that people born in the church stay in the church I wish we heard more testimonies I was born here and I'm still here anyway I went to Southern admin to university but I mentioned the name change recently got a name she had before that it would been Southern College of 7 Davus they stepped up to university level but before that it had a different name some Doesn't missionary college that's right and what's interesting is you'll find out that this wasn't unique to that one school for instance. Anybody know what the original name of the Loma Linda University was it college of medical evangelists C.M.E. the college of medical evangelists Southern missionary college I'm thinking about Washington admin is universally used to be Washington missionary college Andrews University right here in Michigan used to be known as the Emanuel missionary college. There was the expectation that when you were a 7th Day Adventist and you got an Adventist education you were a member of the 7th Day Adventist Church that you were expected to be a missionary It was supposed to be part of our D.N.A. that we were a mission we were not just to be another denomination option amongst Christian churches we were to be a movement raised by God to give a distinct message to the world that was the expectation Michigan conference of 7 to have an ist believes in that mission still to this day thus they have the Emmanuel missionary Well the Emmanuel institute that gets its name from that in fact I want to read that in an article from the address reviewing Sabbath Herald August 25 1903 this description was given Emmanuel missionary college has for its sole purpose the training of missionaries that's it's one reason to exist Oh and by the way you can get a career right it's almost offhandedly Oh you can be a nurse you can be a fit whatever the thing but the one thing you're there for so be a missionary and the other thing is the side dish in those days every church member was a missionary and every occupation was a mission field right as Y.J. and law for 0 in his book The Great 2nd Advent movement wrote on page 306 you'll find this quote there to qualify laborers fully prepared for work in any part of the world where they may be called in the providence of God to Labor is the one great desire and aim of the teachers of the Emmanuel missionary college I believe that the 7th Avenue Church and I know this sounds heretical a bit but just give me 2nd I know it's heresy just wait we have too many members that are merely members right that we've settled into a membership of this denomination instead of being a missionary for Jesus Christ. There is this concept that every member is supposed to be made I want to take out don't you take out your Bibles I assume you brought your Bibles with you yes praise let's not to shame you if you didn't the Holy Spirit will take care of that. But if Eason's Galatians iffy Jand Libyan's then that will sandwich of books a fish and. All the aeons there fish in chapter 4 we find Paul's description of the work of ministry and I like to preface this when I preach this in a sermon that every evidence evangelist is familiar with Luke 2343 in the problem comma where Jesus when dying on the cross looks to his side any give that beautiful promise to the thief on the cross but if you read it with the punctuation as it's inserted in the scripture it gives a mis understanding to what Jesus was saying did Jesus say today you will be with me in paradise or does he say I say to you today come you will be with me if it is that comma makes a big difference right and we have to explain to people that what the words are right but the punctuation gives a wrong meaning to the words we have to kind of dissect that a little bit look at Ephesians chapter 4 and look what God has appointed in the church to do the work of ministry in the church Ephesians Chapter 4 verse 11 the apostle Paul says and he himself and notice that he capital H. himself capital H. who is the he himself that Paul received this instruction from Jesus Christ right and he himself gave some to be apostles some prophets some evangelists and some pastors and teachers now clearly as everyone called to be a pastor a teacher and administrator in the church know some are but if you say some are that info implies that the majority are not. Only some are right so what is the job of those responsibilities what is the duty that they are called to let's keep reading and does anyone here have a King James Version of the Bible with him today OK Could someone be my volunteer I like your southern accent right here in the front row so if you could read to us he's in chapter 4 verse 12 as it reads punctuation in the King James version for the perfecting of the saint for the comma for the work of the ministry comma for the edifying of the Body of Christ thank you pastors Bible teachers evangelists Apostles all of those listed responsibilities what are their jobs in the local church apparently or for the church members the 1st one is to perfect the Saints as Job number one the next one is to do the work of ministry and the 3rd one is to edify or build up the body of Christ and that's what we expect pastors and teachers and administrators and conference employees to do that's your job description is to perfect the Saints and do the work of ministry and build up the church does anyone have a new King James Version of the Bible All right this by the way this is not a course on Bible translations please don't give me your tracks about whatever your convictions on that that's not what we're here for I just want to point something out OK well 1st for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry for the comma for the edifying of the Body of Christ now how many jobs other to Interesting so apparently it's to help those saints do the work ministry and also edify the by Christ and I don't have to see what happened have a New International Version with them you have one day. When I'm not sure if that was going to get my point there now the point is that the New America and the New International Version don't have it memorized but it basically says to train the people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up. One Job So which version is correct. You can say all of them that the it's a safe answer you can go into politics thank you. Who It's almost feels weird to say the United the sounds are right now do we just take the one that we like the best as a church member I might like that 1st reading yes we have pastors each is an evangelist an administrator their job is to help me get better perfect a saint and their job is to do the work of ministry and their job is to build up the body of Christ my job is to pray for their work to support it with my tithes and offerings. So I mean again our preaching that's good or is it that 2nd one has a perhaps even a 3rd one is it let's keep reading by the way that's how you this is a little bit of a hermeneutics instruction if there is a text that could be read one way or the other you don't just pick the one that agrees with your already position to try to see what the author's intent was you look at the context right so let's keep reading here in a phaeton chapter for a Guinness as well starting with verse 11 he himself gave some to be apostles some prophet some of Angeles and some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry for the edifying of the Body of Christ to we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God to a perfect man to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ so the goal of building us up is not just to grow numerically or quantitatively but qualitatively become like Jesus right that we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the way in the 70s church today and in the world at large in the Christian world especially there is every wind of doctrine blowing apparently we're not supposed to be battered about and taken by these winds and apparently we're supposed to have a solid foundation and not move that we should no longer be children tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the trickery of men in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting. But speaking the truth in love may grow up in all things into him who is the head Christ now look at verse 16 is going to give us our answer to our question from verse 12 from whom speaking of Jesus still the whole body joined and knit together by what every joint supplies notice that the body is held together when every joint is supplying support right according to the effect of working by which every part does its share causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love apparently the church is supposed to grow when every member does the work far too often we have a Instead of a worker mentality have a watcher mentality amongst the laity the church is set up for 100 people to come and watch one man work when in reality that one man's job is to 100 people working What if every member of the 7 deafness church had this concept that I'm not here to merely watch someone work I'm here to be a work or in the Cause of God How would that change so many things haven't changed the how interesting your church services how to change the growth rate in your local church or your local conference if every member said no I'm if this church is going to grow that's on me his job is to quit me to do my job now let me be clear I still think there's a role for pastors and administrators mainly because I am one. But see the text clearly says that there are some called it that not everyone is but the majority are supposed to be those every joint doing their work is part of the part body of Christ and that's why we're here today to help train every member of the 7 deafness church to be a missionary for Jesus Christ listen to the statement you've probably heard it before but it bears repeating in light of what we've just studied. This is from gospel workers page 352 you can also find in the book Christian service I believe is Page 68 but it says the work of God in this earth can never be finished now if it stopped there that would be the single most discouraging passage in the spirit of prophecy the work of God can never be finished less power has for prayer. No but it says the work of God not can ever be finished until which implies it can be finished but there is a prerequisite the work of God in this earth can never be finished until the men and women comprising our church membership rally to the work and unite their efforts with those of ministers and church officers the only way and this is a hyperbole we see it from the scripture we see from the Spirit of Prophecy the only way the church will grow and fulfill its mission of becoming like Christ and giving the message of Christ is when every member is a missionary We must get back to that mindset that is why we the Michigan conference has invested time and money and had the Emanuel Institute and now is bringing into the office so it can be a blessing and even on a wider scale we're partnering with amazing facts in the Africa program to bring you this program here can't meeting because we want to see this happen because it's the only way it's going to work Listen to this from ministry of healing page $149.00 many would be willing to work now I know that when we talk about with things we just said there might be conviction but then you leave saying but I don't know what to do I mean I see that it's right I know that I should I know that it's good in fact it it's a necessity but what do I do with all that hyped up inspiration and that's one of the problems sometimes preaching to people all high and to and then there's no follow through how do I turn that theory into action. Listen to this many would be willing to work if they were taught how to begin that only makes sense they need to be instructed and encouraged every church should be a training school for Christian workers now I think about that go back to that opening thing where I grew up in a 7th heaven to church and I went to 7 down to schools and I attended all the 7th Heaven is programs but there was a time in my earlier adult life that I realized I couldn't share my face how is it possible that I'd gone to church every week for 182030 years who knows how long you've been going to church to or going to add been a school every single day and still at the end of it don't know how to give a Bible study that's a problem and I praise the Lord for Africa Oh and for Emanuel and for all the different soul winning institutes that are out there and as a pastor in the field I was conflicted about their existence because part of me says Praise the Lord let's send our members there and get them trained and will will devote the time the money and promote it and all this kind of stuff which happened in some of the church we have some results of that right here today. But at the same time make by the way if you ever since some went to the Emanuel course or in Africa program or something like that and they go and get that full immersion experience it's not just a weekend thing but they go for weeks at a time and they really spend all day doing that put in practice they come back to the local church on fire I don't know if you've experienced many of you have already gone to a program like that and gone to your local church it was a new experience when you went back wasn't it certainly was and the other people notice it things start to move it's exciting right it's an infectious fire it's wonderful and so as a pastor I was like let's send folks to a manual but then the other part of me is a little bit like why they go into a manual to get something they should be getting here how is it possible. That we have people who've spent decades and 7 Davenant's institutions churches and schools and whatnot and they don't know how to share their faith so I see these as a wonderful opportunity on the one hand and a standing rebuke on the other so I've told as many people as I can I want to support these programs on one hand and my goal is to run them out of business. That it should be part of the D.N.A. of every 7th heaven is institution every 7th day adventist it's training to be a missionary again listen every church should be a training school for Christian workers its members should be taught how to give bible readings what we would call Bible studies how to conduct and teach Sabbath school classes by the way could Sabbath school be improved in our 7 church you think a little instruction might help we're going to find out in the coming months and years don't worry we're getting there it's coming it does want to plant that seed how best to help the poor and to care for the sick maybe some practical medical if you think medical would work well with the evangelist it work absolutely how to work for the unconverted there should be schools of health cooking schools and classes and various lines of Christian help work there should not only be teaching but actual work under experienced instructors This is what church should look like she says let the teachers lead the way in working among the people and others uniting with them will learn from their example one example is worth more than many precepts so when you go home from this you're going to get training and then you're going to go be an example in your local church and it might just be the one of you or 2 of you or just a small handful but let me tell you something just a couple of people can make a massive difference in a local church you can be the little rudder that steers the ship. You can be example you can be contagious and people will be inspired through your witness it's a powerful thought so I want to welcome you to the manual after combined program amazing disciples I want to thank you for being here and I pray that the Lord will bless your time I trust in fact that the Lord will bless your time he is going to honor this commitment I promise you so be of good courage some of the stuff will be new ideas some of it might be even challenging the whole getting outside of your comfort zone think it's probably going to happen go with it but it's God's way a building up an army of workers to finish this work and hasten the coming of Jesus Amen amen at this time own introduce Pastor Mark Howard the associate director of the set is going personal ministries department and your instructor one of your instructors this day and I'm not sure exactly how he wants to transition to the next phase but I'll just trust him that he knows what he's doing I'll get out of there you have a right to go Good morning everyone. I want to turn our attention to scripture for a little bit and then we're going to take a break here shortly but I just want to set the tone with some of what we're covering today I'd like to begin again with a word of prayer and then I'll invite you to turn with me in your Bibles father heaven we are thankful for being called to be your witnesses and I ask Lord this morning that your Holy Spirit would enlighten our minds illuminated our minds give us not just a cognitive understanding Lord but help us to lay hold of what it means to be called to be your witnesses I ask you pray this in Jesus name you men like you to turn with me in Matthew 24 here for a moment I just want to share a thought with view that will be definitive for this coming week Matthew 24. Let's start in verse one I'm tempted to read before but I'll You'll see where we're going to go here Bible says then Jesus went out and departed from the temple and his disciples came up to what So in the buildings of the temple now Matthew $23.00 is usually a pretty well known for most peoples is pretty well known maybe it is or isn't to you Do you have an even though Matthew $23.00 is what was Matthew 23 what does the Bible call they're heading on there if you look back it says it waters rise woes on the scribes in the various seas now this is really an interesting chapter for a couple reasons throughout Jesus' whole ministry he's had contention with the religious leaders or they have had contention with him and be better said but he's really never denounced them like this this is right as he's coming to the end of his ministry and now he is calling out and denouncing and maybe I should make this point too I think this is important cause sometimes we we take the sides in Scripture and we boo hiss the villain in the Pharisees the bad guy cetera et cetera if you had lived in Christ day you would never have seen it we always know yeah the fairest sees that if you are Christ you would be like the disciples said Of course he can't be saved rich people can be saved and he said but the Scripture exposes their motives and you know in and this was the 1st time Christ really exposed them to the people and for him to be saying you scribes and Pharisees hypocrites and throughout you have that word the word to create a sin the Greek means actors what we call a Hollywood actor today we would use the word actor so your bunch of actors are pretenders and for him to just go in the getting in give examples and call out these are the people just imagine it this way imagine that Jesus comes in here's this new rabbi needs teaching this crazy stuff and then. You know you're like a that's kind of interesting but you haven't figured yet you haven't like he says one of many different teachers but you've grown up with teachers like. Mark Finley and with Doug Batchelor in this and then here comes this point where this Jesus starts calling these guys out and saying you guys are only a real Christian it would be shocking to you if you wait a minute I mean OK maybe you don't agree with something they say but you put your trust in these people your whole life your whole religious experience is these people and Jesus has just called them all out and he's come East come from that experience I mean Finn's it finishes up in verse 37 of chapter 23 all Jerusalem Jerusalem the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent her how often I wanted to gather you gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings but you are not willing see your house is left to you desolate or I say to you you shall see me no more so you say bless it is he who comes in the name of Lord I mean wow and then he leaves the temple for good and his is going out the Bible says and the reason I'm saying it I'm printing it this way is if you just read verse one of chapter 24 it really sounds weird they go out of the temple and Jesus' disciples do what he says the show in the buildings of the temple What's that about hey man it's true look at the but he's never seen the buildings before now think about it in the context of his denunciations and they come out what are they pointing at what are they saying to him Why are they showing Jesus the buildings of the temple OK introduce value back into it how's that listen to me carefully this is in essence what they're doing Lord. Look at these institutions I mean we have hospitals we have churches we have P.M.C. we have Loma Linda you're telling me I mean how could we how to look at it we've we've made millions of dollars doing this work and we're world renowned as our Because of our health study in an inn where the healthiest people on the planet and you're telling me that were wrong how good lord look look they're showing in the establishment the institution is the evidence that maybe what he just told the religious leaders wasn't exactly on point they had so much confidence in the institution and they couldn't really they couldn't grasp or maybe accept that everything they had found in themselves on was wrong. That the religion they grown up with isn't as as good intentioned as they were their understanding's were wrong they came to show Him the buildings of the temple and Jesus said to them Do you not see all these things assuredly I say to you not one stone should be left here upon another shall not be thrown down and of course that launches into the question what's going to be the end of it with what's your coming going to be like in the end of the world because if if this building and all these things are going to be thrown down it's going to have to be the end of all things and they're mine but here's the point I want you to understand I believe this week for some of you we're going to cover things that would be like tearing down every stone you ever had in your experience there are expectations we have in Christianity that aren't even biblical The pastor Pastor Cameron teaches a preaches a sermon that he was preaching part of it this morning calling doing the wrong job well right when the Bible talks about the the role of the pastor to train the members is to do the work of evangelism a build up the church you put all those commas in there and all the sun is a passive work we look to the past for this whole looking to the past or that Papal. That's not Biblical that's not the church Jesus Bill you don't find Jesus building up the church with the disciples and saying that you guys look to me and I'm going to do everything and you do nothing and in fact sometimes we wonder at the it that that he would even ask the disciples to do some things he said even sent Judas out witnessing you know evil or do it yourself Jesus could have done better right you never find that example in scripture that Jesus says he now just I'll do it and you guys just watch but that's where we are today even in the administration if you go back and look at having a sister we didn't start out this way used to be a saying among administers we talk about what was called settled pastors you know what a settled pastor is your pastors your pastors a civil pastor is a pastor who is a pastor over a specific church or churches that he could call my churches we didn't have them the elders would lead the churches in the past it would go around and build up and strengthen the elders to lead the churches and move on to new fields and then we got to a point where some people cry and say well we need a pastor and so we had a couple in the in the mine Center Church got to be wow this is if we ever go down the road in this is where the other churches were the other denominations we said we go down that road we're going to become decadent just like they are I think I can show you quotes I can show you from a series that he didn't use the converts present preached in the 1900 California and he talked about this whole thing and he said boy we we don't want to go down this road I can show you quotes from H.M.S. Richards yet here we are where the experience that we are in what we call an understand church is not what you find We're going to see this today in scripture it's not what you find in the early church where you find in the Bible is not the framework that Jesus set up is not the church he built and so he said not one stone is going to be left upon another we're going to dissemble some stones this week and by God's grace let the Lord rebuild them into the picture that we need to see and understand as his last day church. I want to share with you a statement before we take a break here from the book Christian service page 42 if you don't have the book Christian service in a Christian service is compiled from a lot of different places but it's a fantastic book if you just need and you will need I'm just going to tell you I'm not going to say to take the if out of it we need jumpstarted when it comes to passion for soul winning we need to be encouraged because it never works to discourage the atmosphere in I remember when I 1st came in the church I was so excited about sharing what I knew and it was so little I mean I there's so much I didn't know and I wanted to learn but I wasn't waiting for somebody to train me because I couldn't I just was too excited I had to tell I told people I told them the wrong way like were you here for other midges sermon the other night Little Jimmy went to the neighbor and said Boys not how it's going to be where you're going to go well let me tell you something and I think we talked about this backstage and you may have done things like you've maybe you've done things like that that was a pretty That was a that was a doozy but let me tell you something if we don't ever do things like that we never become witnesses. I mean there is nobody who is human except for the Son of God who took upon himself humanity who starts out doing it right you're going to learn and you don't learn except by doing and sometimes you make those mistakes you know the Lord uses them all bet that I'll bet that neighbor that Jimmy went to what was his neighbor's name I'll bet Mr Jones I bet the Lord used that to stir Mr Jones hey it may it wasn't the right way but I can tell you after example where the Lord is use that to waken people Mr Brown That's right. Mr Brown in the book Christian service Christian service is just recommending that as it's a great books it just will stir you up every time you read it says on page $42.00 a revival and a reformation must take place under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Now we talk revival in our church for a while now you know what the word revive means right now if I'm praying for revival and I'm really praying that God would bring me back to life what is the prerequisite Not that I've got to be dead I am I just gotta admit it right I got acknowledge we talk all the time about revival but I'm going to tell you when when notice when it goes on to say I'll come back to revive a member mation are 2 different things revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life a quickening of the powers of mind and heart a resurrection from the spiritual death Reformation signify the reorganization a change in ideas and theories habits and practices reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness and lead to connected with the revival of the Spirit so these things go together but it's interesting there are a lot of people to talk revival I want revival but then when people talk about reform that goes with revival then somebody says oh no we don't want that and then the question has to be do we really feel like we're spiritually dead when I think my opinion counts so much about how I think we ought to do things I'm not acting like I'm spiritually that I'm acting like I know it all and that hinders us the Lord says revival Reformation must take place but in order for that to take place is going to need to be a change in ideas and theories habits and practices not one stone is going to remain upon another we've got to be willing to let the Lord reteach us if he needs to reach it and the reality is that you know now you could I've heard people take this different ways you could be saying oh boy we're going to get all kinds of radical I've seen it we're going to learn new stuff the reality is what we're going to rule learned stuff that I think most of you know you've heard you read in the Bible but it doesn't get put together that way and I go yeah of course well why did never think about that before. But it's not the way we're doing in the Lord calling us to revival and reformation reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with a revival of the spear revival in Reformation are to do their point and we're going to doing this work they must win and this is an area we need revival reformation in of all things and that is area of regaining that missionary purpose for this media was brought to you by audio verse 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 you would like to listen to more sermon leave a Visit W W W dot audio Verse dot org.


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