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A Light Was Kindled - Part 2

C. Raymond Holmes

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C. Raymond Holmes

Pastor, missionary, retired seminary professor, and author

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Conference

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  • June 19, 2018
    9:30 AM
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Heavenly Father we thank you for this new day we thank you for being able to be here at this yearly spiritual feast in the Michigan conference we pray that you would bless every speaker today and every presenter and every attendee especially large be with the children the young people and Lord we pray that you would exercise your sovereign power. Protect this campground from any dangerous storms or any other mishaps we ask you to be with us here in this room and bless our time together in Jesus' name amen. While we're talking about the Reformation in a sense commemorating the 500 anniversary of the Protestant Reformation Oh and yes of day we were talking about all the times what the times were like and 1517500 years ago. We were talking about that it was an age of inventions telescope gunpowder. A spirit of dolls began to prevail people began to question things spiritual as well as physical and I mentioned that one of the major events other occurred in 1456 was one John Gothenburg. Invented movable type and printed the 1st Bible. Should be in Latin and people for the 1st time the very 1st time hard to believe today. Or we have so many different translations of the Bible in many many different languages it's hard to believe that in the early fifties 15 hundreds the average individual courage member didn't have access to of a Bible all he had to go by was what the priest said and what they were taught from the Catholic catechism and so when the 1st Bible were Bibles were printed in the vernacular that was a major event in human history so a new way and was dawning and it had a powerful intellectual and spiritual impact on life the Middle Ages the Dark Ages was a pioneer of great upheaval and as a matter of fact on the whole no world had gone through the time depicted in never could nosers dream recorded in Daniel the Book of Daniel. As the iron the clay the bronze the silver and of gold as Daniel writes all together were broken in pieces that means disintegration and after the legs of iron which symbolized the Roman Empire after the legs of iron had fallen and there was disorder and fragmentation all through Europe centuries of confusion and a painful search for stability followed after the fall of the Roman Empire and later the Emperor Charlemagne had set up a new empire on the Roman model and his greatest conquests. Was against the Saxon tribes of Germany and Charlemagne's rightest purpose was to destroy Christianity destroy it eliminate it and soul many very harsh laws were passed against people who refused to be Bob ticed who refused to baptize their children and by that time and this is important to remember the Roman Catholic Church was the primary and force or of laws like that. On Charla man's attempt to destroy Christianity finally sale. And a new system emerged that was called feudalism and by the 11th century no political kingdoms began to appear on the scene nations or born during the 13th 14th and 15th centuries tribes largely identified by language began to unite as a nation states such as Germany and France and England and Italy and Spain and along with this a largely agrarian a cot economy as we mentioned yesterday this was way before the Industrial Revolution there was no industry there was no. Trains things like that no factories people lived off the land most people were farmers or or lumberjacks or things like that. But that agrarian economy gave way to trade and that promoted the increase of the development of towns and cities and money became the medium of exchange and as far as most of the people were concerned that is to say the peasantry life was very hard and most of them did not own the land that they lived on and famines were common men and women worked long hours in the fields they lived in small cottages with mud wall and Satch troughs they burned a fire in the middle of the of the floor in order to heat and cook and the small one up through a hole in the road that's the way they live it Windows had no glass like these and then in the winter time they they would stuff bales of straw into the opening of the window their furniture was meagre usually the beds that they slept on what were nothing more than a pile of straw sometimes it was big enough for of all family to you and sanitation was nonexistent streets were filled with garbage and animal manure and sometimes even human and none of them were clean by the standards that we have today the street. Food was scarce their diet was mostly things like porridge cheese soaps and pork and life expectancy was very short and infant mortality rate was very high a lot of children died in infancy your in their early years. From starvation or disease and so the idea began to prevail that peasants are to spend their lives working for the nobility some of the nobility were kind to them but many were merciless they were like slaves and in Germany for example there was all an awful lot of discontent class hatred and undercurrents of revolt Luther came out of that mill you he was born a peasant on the farm as father who was nameless Hans grew up on a farm and later became a miner he was a rugged rough but a very devolved man a member of the Roman Church faithful but all German Paganism was blended with their beliefs and they believed that elves faeries witches were everywhere evil spirits were the cause of storms and floods and pestilence sect us they believed it was a very superstitious age can you see why people weren't chanted by the teachings of the medieval church with that kind of a salute superstitious approach to religion one day in July and in the year 15 or 5 young Luther was deep 20 years old I don't think by the time he was walking along the road one suddenly the scar in the sky darkened. And he was stunned by a a crashing storm that suddenly descended and he was struck down by a bolt of lightning didn't hit him but it hit the ground nearby and he was he fell and he cried out saying tan if you'll help me I'll become a mom. So here the the man who called him a saint Hold on hold would later repudiation the idea and the man who became a monk wouldn't reject my master says I'm that loyal son of the Roman Church would later shatter it shatter its very structure even identifying the Popes with the anti-Christ and as far as most people were concerned at that time in history in Europe the church was the only stabilizing force and that chaotic society in that great time of upheaval and change and so the church eventually became the absolute judge of human destiny to understand what was happening but the church had become corrupt How did that happen between the time of the Apostles and the early church and that of the middle or Dark Ages How did that happen the Apostle Paul for example had written his what epistles around the year 63 a D. and now they were in 157 C. How did that how did that happen how did the church become corrupt Alan White I think as. Nobody has summarized it better than Ellen White. And her book great controversy pages 4951 she says and I'm all I've always been struck by her choice of words she says almost imperceptibly the customs of he's an Islam home their way into the Christian journey the spirit of compromise and come form a tea was restrained for a time by the fierce persecution which the church and doored under paganism but as persecutions ceased and her Sienna D. entered the courts and palaces of paintings the Church laid aside the humble simplicity of Christ and His Apostles of the pomp and pride of pagan priests and rulers and the place of the requirements of God she substituted human theories and traditions the nominal conversion of and Per Constantine caused great rejoicing and the world cloaked with a form of righteousness walked into the church now the work of corruption rapidly progressed paganism while appearing to be vanquished became the Conqueror the conqueror of the shirt the spirit of paganism controlled the church our doctrines ceremonies and superstitions were incorporated into the faith and the worship of the professed followers of Christ. Nobody has summarized it better than Ellen why now this is the critical question what was it that had to be compromised in order to do all this that she described people had to be kept in ignorance of this crypt or it was deliberate at was planned by the medieval church and that's why the printing of bibles by good bar was such a momentous event Alawite such as the Bible what exalt God and place finite men in their true position therefore it sacred truths must be concealed and suppress the authority of the revealed Word of God or the faith on the life of believe or was gradually replaced by the authority of the Roman Church it took some time yes. But gradually over the centuries in the context of that time that we have been describing that's what happened and that authority of the church invested in their structure in pope's bishops priests and in the rituals that is to say the sacraments that authority was absolute by the way in the Catholic system there are 7 sacraments after the Lord's Supper marriage ordination extreme on ction for the sake of die a couple more a camper and think of them and by the way that it was fascinating for me. In my progression from Lutheranism into Adventism. When I became aware. In the in the context of this history the high priest of the ministry of Christ He has been in heaven since his ascension hung chinning as high priest but during all that time the High Priest of the ministry of Jesus was transferred by the church to the altar in the church and the function of the priest who when he said the mass every Sunday and lifted up the host the bread he had the authority based on his ordination which was a sacrament to actually change the bread and the wine into the real blood and and flesh of Jesus see that how the high priest the ministry of Jesus was transferred to the altar of the church on the function of the priest the church had reached the position where it claimed to be the only repast Atari of the true faith and that was very impressive in the midst of that superstitious approach to religion that most people had in those days it fit right in and sold the Bible in the hands of the priesthood was suppressed when it came to the people I didn't want them to know what the Bible taught and the role of the priest was decisive for salvation the salvation was not attainable apart from the mediation of the local priest it was the priest up the sinner had to go to to confess and receive absolution of sin as that's still going on. And the bishop overall had become the central figure of religious authority I remember when I was teaching at our seminary in the Philippines hope John Paul need a visit to Manila and I heard over the radio when he was introduced by the I think it was the archbishop or of the of the church in the Philippines the archbishop referred to him as a Son of God on Earth the pope had become more powerful than any secular. Ruler in Europe and for the ordinary person that was awesome that was awesome so it was a time of great spiritual darkness and the church which God had designed to shine the light of His truth and the darkness instead had made the darkness even darker remember the the money economy honey merged and the finances of the church became involved in that medium of exchange. But the papacy one bankrupt money had to be raised how could such funds the generated that was the dilemma How could how could this money be gotten from the local churches on the faithful members remember it was a time of great superstition so the church came up with the idea of indulgences and it was a brilliant idea under the circumstances because it played on the superstitions of the fears of the people of the concert there was nothing wrong with the cause you know the church needed money or hospitals or church Belding's to pay the priesthood and. The pope wanted to build up a big Nipissing cathedral in the city of Rome St Peter's It's called Still there that's where the pope is consecrated you ever go to Rome it's asinine to visit but this method that uses the use of indulgences was diabolical The idea was that Christ and all of the saints. All had more merits than they needed and sold a surplus merits up Jesus and all of the saints were kept in a treasury by God and could be transferred to sinners at the discretion of the pope even to the dead and purgatory I'm I've read my bible many times and I have palm oil and it is a place an intermediate intermediary place between life and hell hole purgatory is not there and that whole thing the whole campaign was a pedal my used by a priest by the name of pets all whole came to Germany and virtually sole salvation and the tradition is that he would say quote as soon as the coin and a cough or rains the soul from our guitarist's brains that was appealing to the superstitious minded people of that time Imagine if I can help my dead ancestor my dead mother or father or brother you know who is such a center down out of hell by putting money in the. And none of that on the authority of the Scriptures and unbelievable as it sounds today it was possible because the people had been kept in ignorance of the Scripture and what wasn't what was behind all of that loser identified the source as in his great 10 A Mighty Fortress he called it our ancient FOL Who is that Satan he says in is him whose craft and power are great the presence of darkness grin but he says we tremble not for him remember this was a reformation him I remember as a loser minister we sang it every Reformation Sunday it's in our own handle by the way we sing it because the Reformation is a part of our tradition our history praise God We tremble not for him loser says and we will not hear forgot has willed his truth to triumph through us powerful words Now let me ask you isn't all were grama ties Asian to say that it was a major spiritual crisis in 5070 I don't think so and it was a major cause a major spiritual crisis and that it constituted the corruption of God's truth concerning the basic human condition which the Bible calls sin and it's resolution by the way there are even some Protestants who want to do away with God's law they say that Calvary abolished the 10 Commandments but you don't get that impression when you read all. When you read what Paul says about the law he makes it clear that the human problem is not the law a problem is the sin not the law revealed that's the human problem it has to do with the very essence and the nature of the gospel of salvation John 316 you know probably the most well known verse in the Bible for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son Jesus that whosoever believes in Him shall have everlasting life and Jesus said to his people yes or Jesus said to his people to us you are the light of the world and he said people don't light a lamp and put it under a basket but on a stand and it gives light to all in the house in the same way he says Let your light shine before others Matthew 514 not everybody understood the implications of that when he said it but some people do it now remember we're talking about the times the critical nature of what was happening and what was needed ecclesiastics 3 mirth one says For everything there is a season and of time for every matter under heaven a time to keep silence and a time to speak and that time had come God would act and God would deal with that situation and when you look back on all of that it's obvious that the time to speak had come why what was at stake what was the basic fundamental issue. And I'm probably going to repeat this many times during these days because I want everybody that's here to get it because the fundamental issue is still the same so that. The issue was God's truth the Word of God the Bible you know administers to be referred to as the people of the book I don't hear that anymore are we in danger of losing something precious important critical even in all remember we still have an enemy Muhtar defined in his him and what is the devil's primary tactic deception and he will use any means a matter how wonderful it might solve them to deceive us the issue was God's truth and if that light does not shine author darkness prevails and God will not allow that John chapter one verse 5 says the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not over comment because as long as that light shines the darkness shall not overcome it and God will see to it that it keeps on shining and had to happen and when I started working on this series I was overjoyed. When I discovered this statement by Ellen White in her book great controversy because you can imagine as a former Lutheran I was very and chanted by her chapters on the Reformation and here I came across this the light shines in the darkness a scuse me at Wittenberg Germany. A light was kinda old whose rays should extend to the utter most parts of the earth and which was to encrease and brightness of a close up time the Reformation is not over and never was meant to be over it's not finished it was not a mistake and I believe that God raised up the 7th Day Adventist Church so continued the reformation to continue calling people to that light the light of God's Word is true you can imagine how I felt in the seminary library at Andrews University in 197071 when this kind of stuff dawned on me and I have to tell you I wouldn't listen to my wife and I'll tell you why I had to do it on my own because I knew I knew and it's been confirmed sense more than once I knew that people would say a pastor home only became a 7th Day Adventist because his wife that I had a lot of people to answer to I had former church member Those are people that I love them or family relatives friends I had to know for myself a reference there is. A great controversy page 126 anyway it was a time to speak in 15 to 17 who would do the speaking whole word God Too many voices began to be heard as we will see but who did God choose to light. The flame and what would be the spark What was the spark that caused this while the spark was indulgence Luther was the man that God chill was loser perfect no did he make mistakes Yes Could he have used different language sometimes yes but as Ellen White recognizes God used him mightily and we need to praise God for that so the time to speak had come at happened on October 31 5070 by that time Luther had been appointed as a professor in the University of what for and with member Dermot and he was assigned Hearst to teach the Psalms a book of song and then next it was romance and goal a sion Luther had recognized by his intense study of Romans that the very gospel itself was being abused and distorted by the church. I've often thought about. Here he was a simple mock peasant some noble farmer in the midst of all of this with a Bible that is had reading a sacred text or a thinking and so he prepared on a list of grievances and he listened them there were 95 of them eternal and he went on that morning and he passed in them to the church door in the city of Whitman bar and that was customary in those days if somebody wanted to debate a question or an issue they would simply post. Posted on the door of the church and people could read it on and discuss it is that so that's why he did it and was a historian's later refer to it as a Monday 5 cc's but in the losers mind they were propositions intended for the purpose of calling for a debate I don't think Luther got up suborn one morning and said well I'm going to revolutionize everything and you know he didn't have any intention of leaving the church he was a devout churchman his motive was to reform it by exalting the Word of God and that took guts on the part of that humble mom that took an awful lot of courage especially when you understand the power that the church had by that time by the way today among churches more attention paid to hollow when than the Reformation and so little spark was the practice of indulgences and 1st of all Luther questioned the very power of the pope while that was something if the pope had the power this is what is the way Luther thought if the pope had the power to release all from purgatory why in the name of God's grace and mercy did he not know it that was of troubling thought was a bit if he had that kind of power why didn't he do it for everybody didn't Jesus die for the for the sins of the whole world every single human being and wasn't the Pope supposed to be a representative of Christ on or a loser was. Confused why why didn't he do a number 2 God's Word declares stud forgiveness and peace comes by a grace as a former Los or an I I used to love saying we're justified by faith but that's not quite true we're justified by grace through faith we're justified by the grace of God which we receive through faith if you don't believe that you make face into a work so I'm justified because I have faith Solarte script or a soul on razzia Grace Sola he that faith I don't need hope some priests and sacraments a person who does not have this kind of assurance is law even though the pope might absolve that person a 1000000 times or anybody else that's was the fundamental the power of the we're opposed to the power of the papacy some folks are reluctant to say that today but it's the truth Luther had no idea what he had begun on October 31 5070 he didn't he didn't understand and on that day truly a lifeless candle that was to shine through through the whole hour motor died only about 30 years later after that November 10 is the birthday of Luther born in 1483 in the town of Isaiah Laban But in this economical age of ours not much attention is given to either of those events his birth or what happened on October 31 5070 Not much attention is given to those. Events that change the course of history and the course of Christianity not even by Protestants but I don't see any Protestant celebrating the Reformation when anything is mentioned about it the word commemoration is you not celebration in fact temps are made today by ecumenical zealots to reverse the course of Protestant history and actually on doomed the past 500 years and rather than continue to shine the light that was lit that day and what we were and what that was intended to increase in brightness to the close of time and do it instead I was thrilled to work to read Alan White's statement because I believe and I have for a long time that the Reformation is not over and never was intended to be over why not because the issue is the same today you know for a thing of the Word of God God's people need to hear once again and reaffirm Luther's great ringing testimony when he said My conscience is captive to the Word of God my conscience is a captive of the Word of God And today historical revisionists even doubt that said that but there were many witnesses that wrote it down on they heard him so interesting to some folks want to revise history in other words rewrite it and terms of what should have happened or could have happened and study of what actually did happen. On that declaration of Luther and you imagine him standing there in the midst of all of these secular and religious dignitaries the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire was there the pope's representative was there and they called on him to recap everything that he had said and written under threat but he said My conscience is captive to the Word of God I cannot and I will not recant on that great declaration has rushed to the Protestant 8 L. and White says Wright controversy is 171 man opposed to the mightiest powers on or one man had no weapons he didn't come in there with a sword in his hand he had no might think Army behind it all he had was this one man opposed to the mightiest powers of earth both secular and ecclesiastical power almost 3 years later after that on June 15th 1520 pope and you in the tent issued his condemnation of Lucifer Luther the title of it is in Latin acts Sir J. dominee which translated means all rise all Lord and judged alike cause a pope wrote a wild boar has invaded die Vineyard a rise of Peter arise all Paul and Luther was given 60 days to submit to Papal of already well months and to recant or he would be declared anathema cursed and excommunicated from the church. And in a letter to elector Frederick of Saxony the problems where the University of Wittenberg was located a secular authority by the way the pope referred to Luther as a cult son of iniquity and also as our Abbi she and the Pope ordered the secular rumor of Saxony the Elector of Saxony that quote if he lives or persists in his madness to take him captive and that's one of the depressing things about the history of the Reformation when you see the power that the church had over the state the church would declare a person a heretic but the stated then would closer one that arrests that person and in many cases burn them out at the stake and all of that is behind the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States which is under attack today the 1st Amendment reads Congress shall pass no law as stablish in religion or prohibiting the free exercise of their up in a lot of our young people are growing up today without any knowledge of our history as a nation and how important the Constitution is and that one amendment alone that guarantees religious liberty to all summoned by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles the 5th was the major secular authority to appear in the city of warms it's pronounced warm and not worms your mini. On September 17th 1521 that simple mom the son of a peasant miner stood before the Emperor and the representatives of the pope and he stood all alone to answer for his face and with nothing to sustain him but the Word of God It was a divine moment in history over the years I've spent a lot of time thinking about that moment and I have to say that that is the spiritual heritage that my wife and I have brought into the administration that's why I'm an Adventist and A because of the example of Luther and if you don't think we're going to have to answer for our things you better think again my wife and I are going to be interviewed today at 130 by 3 A B. and radio and one of the things we've agreed to say is how much we appreciate our finished Lutheran heritage of a major part of which was lost over the last decades and subsequent Lutheran mergers but our spiritual roots are in the revival awakening movements in Finland which we still appreciate I didn't grow up in a Christian home but my wife did her mother and father were devolved Lutherans of the Finnish Lutheran tradition and she has such precious memories of her parents her father was an under ground iron ore miner for 40 years he went to work in the dark he worked in the dark he came home in the dark the only days he could see the sunshine was Sunday and Saturday and she remembers his gnarled miner hands folded in prayer in the church in the Lutheran Church. Where we're living now. We drive by it everyday Stop same anymore but as he knelt on while his hand and prayer with those gnarled hands folded he couldn't even put them all together they were like this and she remembers her mother saying to her almost every Sunday when the preacher got up in the pulpit which was always a pie she said took my wife in finish keep your eyes on the preacher's mouth shut up in song infinity watch the people pass the earth model because from that model what the Word of God So we appreciate our traditions are our. Finished Lutheran PIAA to stick tradition and lo and behold as I began to read the spirit of prophecy I found it I found that same spirituality and the writings of Ellen White that we had appreciate it so I had no choice I had no choice but to become an advocate it wasn't a matter of rejecting something it was a matter of building on something. Outside to stop. Excuse me if I get all excited we need something to get excited about only this media was brought to you by audio person 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 please visit W.W.W. dot audio Verse dot org.

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