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A Light Was Kindled - Part 3

C. Raymond Holmes


C. Raymond Holmes

Pastor, missionary, retired seminary professor, and author




  • June 20, 2018
    9:30 AM
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Heavenly Father once again we want to thank you for a good night of breast and for this new day we thank you for your grace and your mercy that are new every day we thank you for your gift of salvation through Jesus and we thank you for this camp meeting this spiritual feast that we can enjoy meet friends and listen to your words preached and taught large we pray that you would build up the faith of the members of not only the Michigan conference but the whole 7th Day Adventist world church Lord help us to be faithful to your word come what may and so bless us as we share this time together this morning in Jesus' name I meant while yesterday when we were. Concluding our time together we were talking about losers appearance. In the city of warms Germany. Where he was summoned by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles to far Charles the 5th and we talked about the fact that he stole alone before the Emperor the secular authority and the representatives of the pope the religious authority he stood all alone to answer for his face and he had nothing to sustain him but the Word of God He was not intimidated by the fact that he stood before the Emperor and the Papal Representatives but he was overwhelmed by the truth that he and the Emperor alike were answerable to God. He defended himself on that occasion admirably he didn't lose his composure he didn't lose his temper he was calm he spoke while he answered every question every charge with reference to the Scriptures but it was not enough because Charles the 5th the Holy Roman Emperor was descended from a long line of Catholic monarchs Furthermore politically the Emperor needed the goodwill of the pope so politics was involved in what was going on and finally the emperor declared this was his final edict after the meeting was over he said quote Luther is to be regarded as a convicted heretic who convicted hit the pope had and the Emperor was simply following the pope's decision and the emperor also said when the time is up $21.00 days no one is to harbor him that is to say protect him his followers also are to be condemned the Emperor sent as books are to be eradicated from the memory of man that was the Emperor's decree what was it that brought down upon that one lone man the full ecclesiastical power. Of the papacy as well as the temporal power of the Emperor What was it while it all began in the Augustinian cloister at Wittenberg. With Luther's personal search for forgiveness and his discovery of the Gospel that had been buried under centuries of ecclesiastical tradition and one he found the good news dn editable consequence was the peeling away of those traditions like you peel away the layers of an onion looser had become a professor of theology at the University of Wittenberg by that time but his theology did not begin with books or on reflections on the reflections of others what was his but with his own personal search for peace with God As I mentioned earlier he had a very sensitive conscience and he felt that he couldn't satisfy God's standards of righteousness and all Luther was outwardly busy and very productive as a professor at the university and wordly he was in a turmoil of guilt and he tried every resource that was made available to him by church tradition and ordered to find relief he tried good works and he discovered that he never could do enough. To make himself worthy he sought the merits of the so-called Saints and he ended with doubt that they could help him not all and he tried penance going so far as I mention as scourging himself with the whip penance required that the sinner must confess all wrongdoing. And seek absolution from a priest a priest come faster and so he confessed frequently I think I mentioned that too many times a day sometimes his confession lasted up to 6 hours and even board the priest because every sin in order to be absolved must be confessed and so the soul must be searched the memory ransacked the motives probed and sometimes one he was in confession he would review his entire life because he was afraid he might have forgotten something in his country and he would start all over again that his problem was not whether his sins were big or small but whether they had been adequately contest if he was truly penitent he worried that he had not remembered them all and because he had remembered them he had confessed them of a dilemma and he was deathly afraid that his memory protected his eagle he was frightened because even after 6 hours of confession he could still think of something dead had escaped his memory and you can imagine the mental torture that that man was going through he had become his own accuser. And he was relentless the church had taught him that in order for sense to be forgiven they must be diligently confessed soul the problem was this to be confessed I must be recognized and remember. If they are not recognized and remembered they cannot be confessed and if they are not come fast they cannot be forgiven you see the dilemma he was it and so slowly he began to realize that the whole penitential system fails because it is concerned with particularly sins rather than with the nature of the sinner or those troubled by sin the church offered forgiveness through the penitential system the ministry of priests and the mass but that forgiveness was contingent upon conditions that Luther followed on attainable he realized that he could not meet the conditions no matter what he did. Or how much he confessed or how penitent he was and he tried fasting and prayer and that didn't help him either and he was told love God That's what his friend Father stop it's told him love God what help how can you love God that was seen as an angry judging Danning consuming fire and soul he fled from what he perceived to be the angry Son of God to the merciful mother of God Mary typed in work either and so he began to wrestle with 2 alternatives the number one is are God is capricious that is to say changeable and the fate of humans unpredictable. In other words God cannot be relied upon and whatever will be will be that is called fatalism in the other words I'm a sinner a rotten sinner and I'm going to die or Robinson or the Matter What I do the other alternative that he was wrestling with is that God is malicious and human destiny is already determined has nothing to do with my penitence or my confession in other words the lost are lost no matter what they do and the saved are saved no matter what they do that's called double predestination which believe it or not found its way into the Reformation largely through the teaching of John Calvin and so luser at one point cried out I wish I had never been born love God I hate him he said and it was at that point and Luther's spiritual journey and his spiritual agony does a dub dub of another divine moment occurred the old one from STOP IT'S who was the vicar of the August in the an order of monks who knew about Luther struggle he stop its appointed him teacher preacher and counselor of sick souls can you imagine that that's a strange thing you know when this Roman Catholic vicar of the August and he in order trying to help Luther he made him a counselor of 6 souls because stop it felt that Luther could be helped by the new man's of teaching and of all things he made him a professor of the Bible and the University of whatever. Every time I've read that I've I've always been mystified by that and I think it's legitimate to say that God used up it's to help bring Luther to war god wanted him to be even though stop its might not have known this at all stop it's had no idea of the ultimate consequences of his decision to appoint Luther as Professor of Bible to university no idea and slowly very slowly in his agonizing search loss or began to realize that it is the nature of the human big that is corrupt and that it is the whole person that is in need of forgiveness in other words he began to realize that to focus on particular sins only leads to despair and hopelessness and you see it's the inner nature of man that needs to be changed transformed he began to see God as a god of low the avenging Christ became the re deeming Christ and it was the losers meditation on the cross that convinced him that God is neither country capricious nor malicious one phrase from the Apostle Paul lose lose are referred to him as dear Paul was enough to lift his own spiritual burden and it was the spark that kindled the light of the Reformation Romans 117 the right just or the just shall live by faith if you have your Bibles you want to turn to or the search after of Romans and we read this beginning was verse 21. But now the right just most of God has been manifested apart from the law although the law and the prophets bear witness to it the right just most of God screw face in Jesus Christ for all who believe for there is no distinction for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified by his by his grace as a gift screw the redemption debt is in Christ Jesus home God put forward as a pro P.C. ation by His blood. To be received by saying Now let me ask you a question are we justified by faith or are we justified by grace what does the Bible say what does Paul say he says were justified by grace by God's grace by his goodness to us received by face and so it's out of this kind of a text that he Luther came up with soul log about C.R. and soul of he day were saved by grace alone screw face a lot and we need to be careful the way we say that the way we teach that way we preach that. We have to be careful that we don't turn faith into our work or a merit it's all of grace or were were justified by Grace received by faith and God gives us a face and thank God he does to believe that gospel that God knows and then he goes on. This was to show God's righteousness because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins it was to show his right to right just ness God's righteousness at the present time so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus and then he asks then what becomes of our boasted and is executed by what kind of law by a lot of works no but by the law of faith for we hold that one is justified notice he changes his wording a little here we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law that's the kind of passages that. Changed Luther and stars of the Reformation and when he began to realize that he said My church is in trouble we have to do something about it subject has to be done we have to help the church get back to the Biblical teaching so when he read and studied and meditated on this word he experienced a new birth it wasn't just mental It wasn't just his stinky he spiritually experienced the new birth what he had been desperately longing for for years and why he went all through all of that misery of confession on penitence and so on over and over and over and over again he experienced the new birth he was born again and that kind of good news has to be shared with others and so he thought I can't keep this to myself. I'm obligated to share this with with other people with my church faces not an achievement but a gift a gift that comes through what the hearing and study of the Word of God one that word begins to make its impact on the mind and the heart the inner being. Of the sinner faith is born here is the mission of the church is he anyway it has to be shared with the world and as Ellen White says its rays should extend to the other most parts of the earth an increase in brightness to the close of time increase not decrease and those are sad about that he said quote I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone gone through open doors into paradise the whole of scripture took on a new meaning this passage of Paul became to me a gate to Aben he said and so it's no wonder that this became the heart the very center of losers theology and what came after that new birth experience was a sharpening and an application because his intention was the reforming of the church and the restoration of up a stolid Christianity and that was a noble goal but what happened it did not happen to church was not reform why didn't it happen because the church would not yield to the truth of the word that Luther haven't covered simple. And the wild boar as the pope called him was kicked out of the church by the pope excommunicated and by that time he had translated the Bible into German and his German Bibles were burned by the church as many as they could get ahold of and what did Luther discover in all of that he discovered that an apostate Turk. Cannot be re for that it will not be reform why not take because if the Bible is rejected and favor of such things as human reason tradition or culture there is no basis for genuine Reformation Alan White called Luther a champion of truth and so having uncovered the OR of Biblical faith Luther and other reformers began to peel away the layers of ecclesiastical tradition and by doing so they threaten the power of the institutional church over the lives of people the pretensions of the church that rested on the sacraments and the priesthood on the mass and the Papal primacy were all exposed 1st of all were 5 of the 7 sacraments that had been established not by Christ but by the tradition of the church if we're saved by grace through faith then these 5 sacraments are no longer needed as exclusive channels of grace the removal of the sacrament of confirmation. And Extreme Unction for the people who are dying reduced but control of the church over the use and over death itself and the elimination of the sacrament of penance of confession to that to an absolution by a priest threaten the control of the priesthood over the human conscience God alone absolves people from sin and he does that because of the cross of Christ because of the shed blood of Jesus and the elimination of ordination as a sacrament demolished of the caste system of the priesthood and opened the way for a renewal of the biblical priesthood of all believers and next and all of this was involved them included in the 95 cc's that he had nailed to the church door next was the sacrifice of the mass during which the bread and wine supposedly actually become the Body and Blood of Jesus and to call Pran substantiation when the priest performed the miracle of reenacting the Calvary sacrifice every day sometimes more than once a day by exercising the power supposedly conferred upon him by the by the sacrament of ordination But what does the Bible say the Bible says Roman $610.00 the death he died he died to said once for everybody for all his just Christ's sacrifice for sin does not have to be repeated every day. Before the altar of every church and the difference between clergy and laity is rusted here in this as was also all the superiority of the church over the state no layman be king or emperor could exercise that kind of power a pre a priest may offer a sinner a piece of bread but he cannot give him the sinner the gift of faith the inevitable corollary of the right just the just shall live by faith Romans 117 was thus the superiority of the Roman church was destroyed for ever that was unacceptable and that's why the counter-Reformation followed and subsequent centuries and generations the wild boar as the pope had referred to Luther destroyed the illusion of papal supremacy for half of Europe and the fundamental issue became Christ versus anti-Christ and why Luther found Christ in the Bible on the basis of what he learned from the Bible he found anti-Christ in the church and the anti-Christ he claims he followed was the papal system and did you know that Luther focused his study on the little horn and Daniel Chapter 7 and 8 I was a Lutheran minister I didn't even know that and that study of Daniel $7.00 and $8.00 led him to the innocent capable conclusion that the papal system is the anti-Christ power Christ not Peter. Is the rock upon which rests the church the true church now do you understand now why the a church could not allow Luther to continue or to survive and in his. Boat was published in 1520 a title of it was the Babylonian captivity of the church Luther rolled for everybody to read he wrote this quote The papacy is in truth nothing else than the Kingdom of Babylon and of the very anti christ unquote with his study of Bible prophecy completion and with that conviction in his heart Luther stood fearlessly before Emperor Charles the 5th and the Papal representatives at the diet of warms on April 18th $1521.00 and at that meeting no discussion of Luther's views was permitted and stead he was pressured to repudiation his views and revoked but he courageously refused and he said My conscience is captive to the Word of God I cannot nor I will and I will not repent because to go against a conscience he said is neither right nor safe so that simple monk and teacher stood his ground and sub to the Emperor and to the pope through his representatives He said I am conquered by the Holy Scriptures my conscience is balm by the Word of God and here I stand God help me now that was the issue then and it is the issue today 500 years later. No wonder there are forces that want to put an end to the Reformation and convince everybody that it's over and that it was a mistake and $1531.00 Luther wrote quote not until I am gone Will day the papacy. Feel Luther's white he was right as subsequent history has proven which finally ended in the emergence of out of Protestantism of the 2nd Advent movement in the middle of the last century the 18th century issued me the 19th century but what about today what has happened to the Reformation it's not even being celebrated by Providence I am a member of the local clergy Association up where we are. And I asked the man who presently is the pastor of the church that I want past certain Bessemer and also the one in Wakefield or my wife was nurtured and confirmed and became a believer and saw as a young young person I asked him I said are you going to celebrate the Reformation this year I was last year and 1517 or 2017 and you know what his answer was he said I have mentioned this many times to the Catholic priest but he's not interested and I was I was dumbfounded I had I was speechless I couldn't follow the what what what I say remember well the whites words concerning the light that was kindled in Whitman Burr and which quote was to increase and brightness to the end of time. I'm going to say this but not with any sense of pride but humbly whole are the people that God wants to use today to continue the Reformation who are the. US So is the Reformation increasing or decreasing at the heart of the Reformation what was what some have referred to as the battle between the Roman church on the reformers for the fall of authority of the Bible today 500 years later the battle for Sola Scriptura is being waged within Protestantism today we're faced with the fact that mainline Suzman mainline Protestant churches have been in the process of abandoning the basic premise of the Reformation to the point where it is being held that the Reformation was a mistake and some are saying that it was just the opinion of one man and that it's all over and enough Tobar 20162 years ago the present pope made a trip to Sweden and together with the archbishop of the Lutheran Church of Sweden shared in a joint service of commemoration on October 31 Reformation days used to be call can you imagine how many people know that I need to say this because this is also part of what I'm presenting Here's part of my personal testimony but when I study this Knol I know why God brought my wife and I into the sub de administering. I also want to be careful to say that we still are very much appreciative. Of our Finnish Lutheran spiritual heritage you have to know the history of that and there's I have a section on that in my latest book The road I travel by the way you can gather that A.B.C. here because the looks of our spiritual heritage are in the Awakening movements within the Lutheran Church of Sweden of Finland and we very much appreciate that heritage my wife likes to repeat her mother. When they were in church in the Lutheran Church there in Wakefield as she was growing up when the pastor got into the pulpit her mother always used to say to her in Finnish couple puppy I'm so whole which means watch the preacher's mouth what she was telling my wife was pay attention don't be distracted because you're going to hear the Word of God and my wife loves to tell that story by the way when we were coming down here it was in C. as to whether we would make it this year and it finally reached a point where it became possible and when we were driving down here we were talking about all of that and and I was saying I wonder why God wanted us here this year and worked at all so we could come and yesterday I found out why this was not pre-planned it just happened Mrs Loma King passed in a moment kinds why she has a a radio program on 3 A B. and radio I can't remember the name of she came up to us and she said I would like to interview you in your life so that we can broadcast your testimony over the radio. So we did that yesterday afternoon at $130.00 and lo and behold pastor Loma King was with us I didn't know that he would be unexpected so we were interviewed by both of them and it was supposed to be a half an hour program but we didn't have time and a half an hour to tell our whole story so they extended it so we recorded 2 half hour psych meant the title of the broadcasts is stranger in my home and the text the Bible text used was Jeremiah 2911 that God gave to me in the midst of all of that crisis I know the plans I have for you says the LORD plans for welfare and not for evil to give you a future and a hope and lo and behold when I began to study the spirit of prophecy I found at kohls of that pie a to stick finish Lutheran tradition that's part of our heritage so it wasn't a matter of rejecting something totally but of building on something that was already there I remember when I was baptized. At pioneer a Morial church by immersion. And a lot of people came up to me afterwards to congratulate me on I remember one lady she came up to me and shook my hand she said All pastor home were Saul happy that you were converted while I didn't answer her but you know I appreciated her congratulations but that wasn't the conversion I had been converted years and years ago before that when I met Jesus I knew Jesus long before I knew what a 7th Day Adventist was. What I wanted to find out was does Jesus live in the 7th Day Adventist Church and that's what I had in mind when I made my 1st visit to Andrew's University I wanted to know does JESUS live on this campus and the lives of the students of the professors and I found out he did so that helped but in this whole context high 100 years later we need to hear these very perceptive words by Ellen White that were written over 130 years ago she said quote This is from great controversy page tool for tool 5 she said quote The experience of these mobile reformers she was talking about Luther and other contains a lesson for all succeeding ages in our times there is a wide departure from doctrines cease talking about scripture and precepts and there is need of a return to the great Protestant principle the Bible and the Bible ONLY as a rule of faith and duty the same unswerving adherents to the Word of God manifested at the crisis of the Reformation as the only hope of reform today I hope you get your copy of the great controversy out and read those words and their context and think about them I'd like to ask Seventh-Day Adventists are you really an admin is do you really do you believe that Ellen White had the gift of prophecy. Whether you do or not depends on what whether you're really an AED been a 7th Day Adventist So what Ellen White said their 7th day adventist Christians is is not only our religious heritage our roots are in the Reformation but it is our message and our mission our mandate today as she says to the coals. So the Reformation is summed up in 3 Latin phrases sola scriptura soul log of Aasiya and solo feeding the Bible a little grace a little faith a little she also said in great controversy page $133.00 as a result of Luther's teaching and preaching a living face was taking the place of the dead formalism in which the church had so long been held following his defense before the Emperor Charles the 5th on September 7th 1521 Luther left the city of warms intending to return to Whitman for and his work at the university but remember that he was under the condemnation of death of both the Emperor and the pope excommunicated from the Church declared outlawed by the Emperor it was now against the law to protect him or to give him sanctuary that was a dangerous journey for him to take back from worms to Wittenberg and his followers were also condemned and his books were burned he was in danger for his life but he shrugged that danger off but Frederick who was the elector. Of the German province of Saxony he did not shut it shock drug it off. As far as the Emperor was concerned the whole thing was political Why do I say that because all the delegates of pending the diet of warms both Castlerock and supporters of Luther had to vote on the Emperor's condemnation but. On unexplainably the emperor did not sign that communication until Luther supporters had left or so it was only the Catholic representatives that signed it or that voted on it. He signed it the Emperor signed it on May 6th and that was an obvious manipulation of the situation until the Emperor and the pope got what they wanted and here was a situation notice this where the church and the state united to enforce a religious decree here was a secular tribunal the diet of warms and trust it was a case of alleged religious heresy and whose judgment became the law of the land as it happened before this as has happened since and it can happen again given the time the opportunity and the circumstance this is why the 1st article of the American Constitution as soul vital and this concept of the union between church and state and Catholic C. ology was called Corpus Christi on though the body of Christians not just in the church but in the state. It meant that the church and society were ended visibly one and all sold up the authority of the church superseded the authority of the state to which the state must ball Corpus Cristi on them it meant that's unfortunately Luther held on to Corpus Christi on them as did all Riggs Windley another reformer and in that his reform did not go far enough it remained for others as the Reformation continued after his desk to reject the idea of the union between church and state now because of Luther's position on that in Northern Europe there are state churches in. In Denmark Sweden Norway and Finland for example there is a looser state church and ultimately disallowed to that Amendment the 1st Amendment to the Constitution in the United States now back to the story the curious thing was that it was Luther's followers of a god that appealed his case to the Emperor and the Catholics opposed that appeal they wanted the Emperor to refer the matter to the pope but when it was resolved against Luther the Catholics approved it because it affirmed for them the Catholic faith as well as the power of the papacy and the authority of the church the Lutherans as the followers of Luther were now being called opposed that a decision that the diet because it went against them what would have happened if the bolt warms. Had favored Luthor such an outcome would have constituted a union of sorts between the power of state and the power of the church to enforce a Protestant religious decree and by the way older himself did not hesitate to use the power of the state in dealing with his coffee with his colleague on the faculty at the University of wooden bird a man by the name of under a a scarlet. With whom he did not agree about the Biblical truth on the saga because Carlstadt had written a tract about the 7th day sabbath and Luther persuaded the Elector of Saxony to have Carlos that banished from the universities and Carlstadt one to Holland to live among the Sabbath Tarion and the Baptists and lo and behold there was a statement that Luther made in a letter that he had written to Philip melange son who was another of his colleagues at the University and he was writing about Carl stud and Luther said to. My Langton if current student keeps writing a Baltasound we will all be keeping the 7th day on hold I found that in the library in the southern or a library at Andrews at any rate the elector Frederick who was Luther's friend wanted to protect him and he arranged to have Luther kidnapped a buck abducted on his way back to Wittenberg and when they were passing through some woods Luther's wagon was attacked by armed. Horsemen and with a lot of shouting and a great show of violence he was dragged to the ground he was put on a horse and he was taken by around the boat rolls to the ancient Wartburg castles this was all out on the orders of the Elector Frederick of Saxony because Fred and Frederick didn't didn't want to know where he was taken so that he could deny knowledge of where he was and he spent a year there at the in the castle Wartburg and he was all alone he suffered from insomnia and depression can you imagine his position at that point and what was his cure work Idol this is the devil's playground and so while he was up the Wartburg he translated the New Testament into German and wrote about a dozen other books and near the end of that year the town consul in Wittenberg together with the local congregation begged him to return and spite of Frederick's fear that it might provoke disorder and deeply worried and concerned about events and Wittenberg loser what role to the Elector he said the devil is at work in this. Why did he say that. Showed me what was going on in Wittenberg when he was at the Warburg that he considered the work of the devil while his friends in with Burt had kept him informed that the Reformation was moving with great speed almost out of control and in his absence leadership was in the hands of his friend Philip melange son who was a professor of Greek and. Carlstadt who was professor of theology and one change was rapidly following another priests and nuns were getting married the wine and communion was the given to the people as it had not been doing for centuries. The bread was placed in their own hands and start to put on their tongues by the priest they communion with all having gone to prior confession priest conducted services and plain calls mass was no longer seen as a sacrifice but as a thanksgiving to God German and start of Latin was used in the mass but mass for the dead what was over ceased was done many more and Roland dropped in the university because students were no longer no longer supported by church stipends and many people with through their involvements to the university and many monks began to leave the cloisters up until done the Reformation had affected only the theologians and the clergy but with these kind of rapid changes people began to realise that the Reformation really meant something significant. It was not just of the faith among scholars. But it includes their every day long in this media was brought to you by audio produced 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'd like to listen to more sermon leave it to W.W.W. dot audio person dot org.


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