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A Light Was Kindled - Part 4

C. Raymond Holmes

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C. Raymond Holmes

Pastor, missionary, retired seminary professor, and author

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  • June 21, 2018
    9:45 AM
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Heavenly Father we thank you for this new day this beautiful morning here at camp we thank you for the fellowship that we enjoy and. The focus on your word we pray once again that you would send your spirit to hover over this campground bless the speakers and all of the seminars and meetings protect the children and help them see Jesus and Lord I want to personally thank you for the opportunity to present this seminar on the Reformation and so we ask you to bless our time together in Jesus' name amen. My wife and I so much enjoyed camp meeting. And were so happy that we were able to be here this year. And it's part of our tradition in all there's a good tradition and bad tradition when the Lord follow me I I joined St Mark's Lutheran Church and walking in the limo in my hometown Oh by the way my father and I had built that church old a few years earlier and I remember when I laid the 1st brick on the corner a put a penny under it and I said this is so this church never goes broke. But I was part of the finish and then Jellicoe Lutheran church and it they had Bible caps that's what they were called and the focus was on the Bible and they had meetings like we have here and we went every year in fact one my wife. Should be. I was growing up and in her teens especially she went every year to use camp youth Bible camp. And later in the early 1960 S. the Finnish church merged with the Swedish Lutheran Church of the Danish. And a German branch and gradually over the years the Bible camp tradition disappeared I remember when I was in my 1st Lutheran parish in the U.P.. We went to fortune like bible camp fortune like it's not very far from crystal ball and I even spoke there more than more on more than one occasion. But now as we drive past fortune lake on our way to campus a goal up to the U.P. camps. The Lucerne cap is still there but it's not called a bible camp and he more as just call the Lutheran camp and there is always a sign there announcing folk dancing see what's happening. But so we enjoyed camp meeting I hope this tradition never changes. Oh well just to summarize what we were talking about when we finished yesterday you remember Luther was at the Wartburg castle under the protection of the Elector of Saxony Frederick and he began to get word that there were things happening back in what number that disturbed him I don't think Luther wanted violence connected with the Reformation but when it happened I don't think he. I don't think he was surprised. Then but it bothered him and near the end of that 1st year when he was at work Bert. The congregation in Whitman Berg where he preached every week. And also the town council begged him to come back and the electorate was opposed to that he he thought it would provoke more disorder but. Luther was very concerned about what was going on there were a lot of changes taking place. One change rapidly following another for example priests and nuns for marrying and monks or leaving their cloisters and. They began giving wine and communion to the people not just the bread. They didn't go to confession before the commune. German was used rather than Latin in the mass. All kinds of things up until that time the Reformation had effected mostly the clergy and the scholars see logins but gradually the people began to realize that it really meant something for them. And it was not just of debate among scholars but influenced their their daily lives now while Luther certainly supported the kind of changes that were taking place he worried that things are getting out of hand and what concerned him the most was that the reformation would lose sight of the gospel message and the worst of it was the violence that erupted in Whitman Berke against Catholic people who were being referred to as the old believe ers and sometimes people with knives hidden under their under their clothing invaded the parish church there and they drove out the priests. And stole the source for old. People that were saying the Rosary the altars in the church were overturned images and pictures were being smashed and destroyed and rules are blamed on a lot of that on his Kali Andreas Karl. Who had preached some rather inflammatory sermons while Luther was up toward Berger it was it was Karl studs opinion that things like organs and trumpets flutes or also to be thrown out of the church and the elector Frederick up sacks of the he was in the dilemma because on the one hand he was responsible for public peace and order but as a Christian he was also concerned about the true faith he believed in the Reformation and what Luther had been teaching and preaching and he was afraid that if Luther returned or his presence would incite more riots and that he himself elector would be in danger and so he told Luther that you should stay and warp or don't come back but Luther was determined to return he didn't like the violence and he wrote to the Elector Frederick he said quote I cannot yield an entry to the devil he believed that the very few care of the Reformation was at stake because of the bylaws people were rioting destroying church property so rotten and the lives of priests and and of those who chose to remain Catholic. And Luther he said that kind of behavior is not consistent with the gospel of Jesus Christian Liberty did not mean the right to threaten or harm people because of their religious believes he saw that kind of behavior as a rebellion against God Himself and this is not what he wanted. And so he said I have to go back and try to restore confidence and order and so he did he went back and he claimed his pulpit again in the what member church and he preached a memorable sermon and he revealed his pastoral heart and with a very pleasant voice not harsh not angry not bombastic he urged the congregation to practice law patience and consideration for others and he told the congregation which by the way was almost a whole town that no person can die for another person under another I'm what I mean to say is. Each person dies for themselves no you can't take another person's place and death. And no one can believe for another and nobody no one can answer for another we each have to answer for ourselves and he told him that every person has to be persuaded in his own mind nobody can be intimidated or coerce into belief smashing images and. Dragging priests all out of the church was to Luther a greater blow to the principles of the Reformation than any blow that was ever dealt against him by the church. Or by the papacy and so in his sermon he pleaded with with the with the congregation to give people time that violence betrays a lack of confidence in God and he reminded them that all he had done was to pray and pray which he said the word of God does it all not violent truth when truth prevails he said to them God dealt the papacy a mighty blow and then he said let us preacher the rest belongs to God and he said God does more by his word alone than you when I and all the world by our united strength God lays hold he said upon the heart and when the heart is taken everything is won reminds me of that statement that I read I think on Monday from 2nd Timothy but was let's read out all ordination services preach the word the urgent in season then out of season and exhort convince rebuke but all out of love and so that sermon and in practical terms was more representative of the fact that the just shall live by faith than anything he had said or written to theologians or to the Pope or to the Emperor. It took an act of bravery I think on his part to leave the protection of Wartburg and go back to whatever imagine what might have happened if he had done that the Reformation could have died right there because it was out of harmony with God's Will it but it took an even greater act of bravery on his part to admonish his followers at such a critical moment which tells us that Luther was a true man of God Everything does He had worked for everything the Lord had accomplished through him was on the verge of being destroyed. And his life and his faith were on the line I think. It would be appropriate to say that that sermon put shoes on the Reformation because the gospel is not just something to believe with the intellect but with the heart the gospel is to have an effect on how we live how we relate to others and behave in the world as representatives of Christ those who have been justified by grace through faith in Christ are to live like Justified people live like Christ. The Church certainly wasn't behaving like that toward him and that does not justify that kind of behavior against them so loser's role had dramatically changed with his teaching and his preaching he had been tearing down false doctrine and ecclesiastical tradition and now he must be using the same means. Teaching and preaching lead the lead the church into a bill to the building up. Of church and society and once again he faced down the devil because who was really behind all of this that's the way the devil behaves and using that powerful principle of the Reformation sola scriptura the word alone to do it. Preach the word teach the word the word does the exhorting the word does the rebuking the word brings about the right kind of change change that is in harmony with the word and it gave a lot of credibility to Luther and to the Reformation he would not have the reputation that he has today if he had gone back to Wittenberg and really stirred things up you know and told him You're doing the right thing you know destroy it hello he gave credibility what he stuck to the word and to his conscience and to a principle that's based on that word alone and so following his master looter adopted Christ's message and in effect said it is written He said it to the pope to his own followers One day we're getting out of line here remember that when Jesus was baptized of voice came from heaven said this is my son whom I love with him I am well pleased Matthew 317 and it was right after that affirmation from God Himself that the devil got busy tempting Jesus to deviate. From the Father's will and that's exactly what the devil does with us. He tempts us to deviate from the Father's will as a revealed in His Word for the sake of all kinds of things. But 3 times in response Jesus said to the devil it is written and the 3rd time he said this away from me Satan for it is written worship the LORD your God and serve him only. Now through $411.00 And then the text says then. Then the devil left him and angels came and attended to him Now what is the spiritual lesson here that our example that's exemplified by Jesus and Luther 1st of all it is that our defense against Satan is the Word of God but. A low and that implies knowledge of the word. So that Satan cannot fool us and E.C.V. us if you don't know the truth then Satan has an opening secondly the 2nd spiritual lesson is that by the authority of that word alone we take an active faith position against Satan and command him to leave us a low away from the Satan and the 3rd spiritual lesson is that because he is the defeated enemy Satan cannot prevail against the Word of God. And against the faith of God's people when their faith rests on that word. On the movable Satan has to flee he has no other record the power is in the word I used to remind my preaching students when I was teaching at the seminary that the power is in the word not in the preacher has nothing to do with how loud we talk or. Our gestures or the mechanics of the sermon on how it's put together it does nothing to do with that task everything to do with does the sermon is the sermon true to the word and then the 4th lesson spiritual lesson that was exemplified by Jesus and by Luther. And one were true to the word angels will come and attend to us not an inch to the double loser set in of an inch and they'll take a mile is that right listen to this from the great controversy page $178.00 quote counterfeit holiness spurious sanctification is still doing its work of deception under various forms it exhibits the same spirit as in the days of Luther diverting minds from this grip jurors and leading men and women to follow their own feelings and impressions rather than to yield obedience to the law of God and when she uses that phrase law of God She's not just talking about the pen commandment she's talking about the whole scripture. And then she says this is one of Satan's most successful devices to cast reproach upon purity and truth I don't think very many people really know and understand the vital issues that were taking place back there in 1517 and onward now I want to talk to you about some amazing facts this is part of my personal testimony one Luther kindled a fire of the Reformation on COBRA 311517 he was not alone in fact it had been smoldering for some time before Luther ever was born as we mentioned earlier the times were rife with corruption in the church itself and morality among the priesthood was rampant as was superstition among the people for example Christ was seen as sent by God to punish guilty sinners not to save them he was seen as being too holy to be approached approached even in prayer so somebody had to be followed and who could intercede with Jesus why not Mary his mother but she too was considered too sacred so another intercessor was needed why not Mary's mother and now so people prayed to Anna who interceded with Mary who interceded with her Son Jesus who enter see that with God the Father for sinners and then you can add to that all of the other saints. It was incredible but that was. The kind of superstitious beliefs on which people were being spiritually nourished and so there was a growing yearning for a more personal and inward religious experience and soul the Reformation succeeded at that point in time it was the right time because it came out a time when thinkers Sir Walter Europe began to sense that something was radically wrong with the church and people were in need of personal spiritual awakening we owe a lot to Martin Luther especially his uncovering of the good news that were justified by grace through faith and that great and Central Bible truth was a loser's great passion because it had changed his own life for he believed it was his mission to preserve that message and to preach it now let me just put in a little footnote right here the justification by grace alone is a basic and crucial Biblical doctrine or theological issue but it is not the whole of the Christian faith that is meant to produce a face experience that is in harmony with the truth of it and so we are always under the examination of the word WANT TO comes to our faith to experience so and of the footnote though it was Luther who was the one who kindled the fire of the Reformation he was not the only reformer. There were others let me mention some. John Wycliffe for example. Who helped translate the Bible into English and England and then there was John Haas in Bohemia who was burned at the stake because of his faith in 1415100 years earlier and then some on a roll in Italy who was executed in 1498 because of his faith. And a Rasmussen hollowed who published a New Testament in Greek which was used later by Luther for his German Bible and then there was William Tyndale in England who was burned at the stake in 1536 or his faith by the way oh. A 2 people that were by it all in are becoming 7th Day Adventists Dr Victor on earth a big bird he was a dentist in Wakefield when I was pastor in Bessemer he was his ancestors were from England and he wanted to have a he wanted to do a research on his ancestry and it was rather extensive and it took some time and it cost some money but lo and behold he discovered that William Tyndale was in his ancestry He's was related to when the William Tyndale And then there was John Calvin and Switzerland Philip Mudd Langston at Wittenberg Alric because when Billy of Switzerland with whom Luther contended over the Lord's Supper at Marburg in $1529.00 and they met together tried to find some wrote resolution. And they they were arguing discussing over the meaning of a 3 letter Latin word as yesterday is they were arguing over the text Matthew $2626.28 which is the reference to the Lord's Supper and it says this is my body Jesus said this is my body this is my blood a new testament in my blood Luther argued the Christ's body and blood are physically present in the Lord's Supper the way he put it was that Christ's body and blood are present in with and under the bread and the wine and that he was referred to as Con sub stenchy asian the Catholic view is trance sub stanchions but for 4 SWINGLER the that Latin word asked meant signifies. Tradition has it. And preparing for that debate with Swing Glee before they came into the room both of them Luther had thrown back the cloth on the table and had written in Chaka on the table attempt member how it goes and laugh. But he rolled the Latin texta and you talk asked ma'am you know thank you and then he put the cover back and in the midst of the debate when it came to that point he flipped the cover over and he pointed to it and this is what the Lord says while while loser uncovered a lot that had been buried under accumulated traditions and a dog name of medieval Catholicism. He was only one man who lived one lifetime but I want to add something here. I wrote a book on worship published by unders University Press and I have a chapter on it also in my latest book The road I travel I call worship the heartbeat of the church and I point out what Ellen White suds when you read Ellen White's. Material on the Lord's Supper especially in desire of ages you will discover a unique view of the Lord's Supper Now the question between jointly and Luther was what is Jesus' present in the Lord's Supper but even beyond that hall is the present now and I was able to share this with some of our theologians at the seminary when I was there and some of them hadn't even noticed it before but for Ellen White Jesus is present in the Lord's Supper and in the foot washing but he's not present in the water or in the bread or in the wine he's present in the eating and the drinking and in the washing in other words Jesus she says he's present in the foot washing and in the Lord's Supper he's present in the body of Christ in their eating and drinking in this act of faith. And that's a marvelous insight because when you read the text in Paul 1st Corinthians he for I think he focuses more on do this done on this is look it up yourself so Jesus is present one we commune of these present in the eating and in drinking and the fellowship is in the corporate participation in this. Service while anyway while Luthor uncovered a lot that had been buried in medieval Catholicism he was only one man who lived one lifetime a reformation that began to that day and 1570 and which according to a long white was to increase and brightness to the end of time is still unfinished business by the way we hear a lot today about the emerging church which is a deception by Doyle the 7th Day Adventist Church is the emerging church it emerged out of Providence than as I'm in the middle of the 19th century in God's time because in his will it was needed and still needed and we have to be careful that we don't succumb to the temptations in all that might come to us from whatever source some finish business not say exactly why the advent movement emerged over the over under 50 years ago to increase that brightness to use her word why listen to this Wright controversy page 2 will for 2 of 5. Because quote in our times there is a wide departure from the Bible doctrines there is a need of a return she is saying this to the churches not just the policy as a but that the Protestant there is a need of a return to the same unswerving allegiance to the Word of God manifested at that crisis of the Reformation. Now I want you to listen to this very perceptive analysis I was published in 2004 by a man by a made by the name of John H. Col there are K A L B E R R His name is spelled a wrote a book entitled The not soul silent merger he is right writing about the merger of churches that's of the I can mimic real spirit and the pages 20 and 21 I found this to churches that have stood for decades as the mainline denominations of America have drastically changed Methodist Episcopal congregational and the United Church of Christ along with sub liberal denominations within the Presbyterian that dist and Lutheran mix as well as many others no longer stand doctrinally where they stood just 50 years ago following the lead of liberal theologians who have demythologize the Bible abandoning its authority denying the miracles of the virgin birth and the resurrection and trashing as uncongenial and any Biblical doctrine contrary to the modern day liberated lifestyle that Cobalt. These denominations have betrayed. Their divine calling to be the true body of Jesus Christ the Christian church which God brought into being at Pentecost He goes on their membership and finances are no longer where they were even 20 years ago Christian spirituality vanishes as well and for those old timers who remain within these denominations there are the very haunting questions what is going on in my church what has happened and of cult now it's no exaggeration to say that Luther changed the course of history his life and his witness was a manifestation of God's gracious intervention in human affairs it demonstrates how God raises up bolts the message and the mission and the messengers needed at certain points in time and now we have to carry on what he began and remain true to solo strip Torro until the end of time as all of white put and we find that emphasis over and over again and Luther's writing he read and he studied his Bible and discovered discrepancies between what it said and what the Roman Church taught he was part of that church and with dismay he saw that human traditions had been invested with of already that belong to the Bible alone I want to insert here just one thought because we're going to deal with this tomorrow when you read the Bible you can discover crip discrepancies between what it says and what contemporary culture. And cultures demand and one of the primary examples of that is the terrible confusion that our society is in regarding gender identification Luther saw it as his responsibility to help his church that things right for the sake of the truth and for the sake of the people because to uncover and expose truth from the Bible is to follow in the living stream of the Reformation and that still our mission it's our calling and it is called Faithful. For example one of the Bible so. That no homosexual will inherit the kingdom of heaven it's not unjust or on time to expose that truth and teach that truth to people who are preparing for baptism for example it's called faithfulness that's what God's word says and it's not just to hold to that it's called Faithful ness to be an uncompromising voice for Bible truth because there are those in our own age who would deny and reverse astri but how doll I've been asked about how true was Luther himself to so lots of Torah and then answering that question I have to share with you my own story of discovering some amazing facts and in doing so call attention to another one of the reformers one that could be called the forgotten reformer because he's hardly ever mention and that happens to be Andreas Carlstadt back in 197071. When I was at Andrews University I was still a Lutheran I had made my decision yet I was deeply immersed in trying to discover the truth and when I began to dig into looters writings again during the driven by my own spiritual crisis I got a major shock I'm telling you it was a shock God had already got my attention one my wife became a 7th Day Adventist and metaphorically it was like being hit over the head with a 2 by 4 I often compare it to Moses in the burning bush I used to wonder why it was not Bush burning in the desert while the bush was burning to get his attention to get Moses attention because God had something important to say to him and something he wanted him to do and sometimes God has to do that to was you know even dramatically to get our attention it not always easy it wasn't for me but I believe without wavering that it was him that did it anyway Up until then I had trusted Luther completely got used to yes he did it if I had a question I checked his work I had all of his commentaries. I am I implicitly trust of the looters and or A and courageous assertion given the circumstances start his conscience was captive to the Word of God alone and I believe he meant it I still do I still believe he meant it and there was more to the story does what I'm sharing now but this was a major part of what made it necessary for me to leave the Lutheran Church for the 7th Day Adventist church and here was the amazing fact. I discovered that Luther was not on aware of the Sabbath and even at the time of the Reformation there were many Christians who observe the 7th day sabbath and Holland for example there were many Sabbath Tarion. And the Baptists that's work for a study eventually went to live along the they were saboteur Aryan Anabaptists who appeared after a 1527 and formed congregations in Moray of the Bohemia and side Licia in Holland. And it was in 5024 that Carl's losers colleague rolled a tract on the Sabbath but the loser didn't let him publish it in Whitman Berger So he went to a general in Holland to have it published and in that tract he wrote that Saturday's is the Sabbath day based on Scripture and that there should be a radical rest from labor on that day and Luther was apprehensive about Carl studs interest in the Sabbath and he responded in a letter to malign son and I quoted part of it I think yesterday and he said if Karl stood writes more on the Sabbath Sunday must give way and the sabbath that is sadder day must be kept holy with Luther So here looser and Mid a Saturday a the 7th day is the Biblical Sabbath and the relationship of those 2 strong men Luther and Carlstadt had been deteriorating before that because of because of Karl Stubbs involvement in the violence not how the erupted in Whitmer and besides some disagreements on the Lord's Supper as well and here's the amazing fact. Losar joined with secular authority persuading DIA Lecter Frederick of Saxony to dismiss Carlston from the university faculty and banish him from Saxony union of church and state and when I saw that you can you imagine how I felt Carl's that went to live among the sub a Tarion on a Baptist and HALL And what happened to religious liberty to freedom of conscience how could looser do this after saying My conscience is captive to the Word of God and in my study Carol in the seminary library at Andrews I was faced with this loser was a scholar of the biblical languages. Hebrew and Greek as well as Latin and his respect for the inspired text of the Bible was so profound that he dare not tamper with it so I checked his German Old Testament and I was pleased to discover that he translated the Sabbath commandment Exodus 20 verses 8 through 10 accurately even though he followed the Catholic numbering and referred to it as the 3rd commandment his German translation reads like this good then to sub a toggle this dust to even highly gets sects TOG a Soltz do are by owned all a dying of a tone. Her See been 10 TOG it is starts a bot does Aaron Dynas got this now if you. Ory translate that into English it reads Remember the Sabbath day that you keep it holy 6 days shall you labor and the wall your work but the 7th day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God Luther dared not tamper with that yet such regard for the Word of God Now we know that he began work on the translation right after his return to with Berg from war from the worker in 1522 so it was highly probable that he was working on Exodus at the time that Carl Stokes was writing about the Sabbath and in 1529 Luther published his large catechism and I meant to take it with me here for you but I forgot I'm sorry about that but I have his large catechism it's found in. The book of Concord which is the the volume of Lutheran Confessions that date back to that time and so and 5029 and published as a large catechism it was a text book for pastors preparing people for church membership and I had turned to it in my copy of the book of Concord the Lutheran Confessions and my jaw dropped when I discovered the liberties not loser had taken with the Biblical text regarding the Sabbath commandment in his catechism he dared not touch it when it came to translating the Bible but when he wrote his catechism he completely changed the commandment listen to his translation in his catechism it's very short do souls done failure TOG highly again you shall hallow a day of Russ. And I'm telling you I literally sat there with my mouth open and I could hardly believe what I was seeing he didn't follow the Biblical text when he wrote his catechism but the sleezy asked Nicol tradition of Catholicism it's not a translation but a but it's an interpretation and a wrong one the literal meaning of the commandment is completely alter the truth is completely transformed and obscured do you see that you shall haue a day of rest that's deception Luther my hero. The Bible says that God hallowed sanctified made holy the 7 day of the week therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and by doing so made it holy God Himself made it holy the commandment says that we keep it holy by observing how do we keep it holy by entering that rest by faith and lose or radically altered both of those aspects by his translation Luther made the commandment command what in fact it does not command and this glaring distortion is further exposed in his explanation of the Sabbath commandment in his catechism Listen to this he says 1st of all that the commandment does not concern Christians in a literal sense and then secondly he argues for the observance of Sunday not on the bet on the basis of biblical evidence but on the business of tradition expediency and good order. You see because there are no Biblical sources supporting the observance of the 1st day of the week Luther could not use any and so he resorted to his deceptive argument what is the Bible lesson here at study the Bible not the catechism. And after his rejection of the commandments literalism he makes this astounding statement in his catechism psalm on page $378.00 in the book of Concord quote since so much depends on God's word that no holy day is sanctified without it and he's right on that we must realize that God insists upon a strict observance of this commandment and will punish all who despise his word and refuse to hear and learn it as nationally at the times appointed once again I sat with my mouth open I sat dumb followed it appointed by whom I asked God or man God or Church God or Luther if he had said that with regard to the Bible Sabbath the 7th day and would be consistent with Biblical testimony and the keeping of that day would constitute the obedience of faith but because he said it with respect to Sunday which is not meant by Exodus 20 verse 8 to 10 and is not consistent with sola scriptura Luther made the commandment command what it does not command. And by soloing due by doing so he rejected what it does in fact combat and the clincher for me was the realisation that loser's altering of the commandment was contrary to Sola Scriptura and to his own principle that the Bible is always to be interpreted literally unless the context indicates otherwise the literal and obvious meaning of the Sabbath commandment is clear the context does not allow for any other interpretation and one who reads it with a mind unburdened by human and ecclesiastical tradition or cultural demands everybody keep Sunday Have you heard or will understand what what God's will is and by oh faith by faith obey his will that's what I was faced with I was I going to do and this is precisely why so many people find their way eventually to the 7th Day Adventist Church and why that principle has to be maintained by us what should I do follow the Bible or Luther I could come to only one honest conclusion the Bible is right and while Luther was right on many things he was wrong on this one I think will close here. Tomorrow is going to be a very significant thing. Because we're going to bring all of us. To the present day this media was brought to you by audio press a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave visit W.W.W. dot audio Verse dot org.

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