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A Light Was Kindled - Part 5

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 22, 2018
    8:45 AM
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Heavenly Father we're so thankful for this week of Cap meeting I'm so thankful that I was able to be here and do this seminar this week and I'm saying pull for everyone that attended and Lord I pray that by your Holy Spirit we would as a church always remain faithful to your word no matter what it costs because that's the only safe thing to do and so Father we ask your blessing on Elder Micha of. The leadership of the conference orthe we're very thankful for elder galimore leadership for 27 years now according to your plan that we have a new leaders and they need your blessing and the empowerment of your Holy Spirit and so Lord we thank you for this week in Jesus' name amen. Yesterday. I was talking about some amazing facts. That I discovered as I was in the process of making the transition from the Lutheran so they had been a stir to. And there's one more that I wanted to mention enjoy I 15 mine teen Martin Luther alliance on Andreas card stud his 2 car colleagues were invited to a debate with a Catholic theologian John EK The C. K. at Leipzig Germany and the debate dealt with the authority for faith and life and the reformers they argued for the authority of the Bible although John ECK the Catholic theologian he argued for the authority of the church as represented by the papacy. And later EK wrote a volume and titled A 404 C.C.'s in which he was arguing gun store information but in that document he exposed what he referred to as the N consistency of the reformers and I want to tell you he was right on that because he said to them and the fact that if you really believe if you really hold to the Bible alone you could not hold till the 1st day of the week for which there is no biblical authority that's what he said and he said that to continue holding to Sunday was to recognize the primacy of the Roman Church and in his handbook and title handbook of common places he wrote this and this is astounding This is the amazing fact he said quote The Sabbath is commanded many times by God neither in the Gospel nor in Paul is it definite that the Sabbath has ceased Nevertheless the church and the Roman Catholic Church has instituted the Lord's Day screws of tradition of the Apostles without scripture unquote I retired in 1904. And in 1905 a little bit later something came to my hand I can't remember how I got a hold of this fact I still have it in the back of my Bible here. But it was. A copy of the parish paper of St Catherine Catholic Church. Right here and I'll go back Michigan I was published May 21995 and listen to what this parish paper of that Michigan administers quote perhaps the boldest think the most revolutionary change the church ever did happen in the 1st century the holy day the Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday not from any directions noted in the Scriptures but from the church's sense of its own power people whole think that the scriptures should be the sole authority should logically become 7th Day Adventists and keep Saturday holy on quote What is this this is the little horn power of Daniel 725 that will speak against the Most High and will press his saints and try to change the times and the law of matter what we do will serve to sanctify Sunday or Sabbath we don't sanctify the 7 day that would be legalism God has already sanctified it by his word and command he alone can make something holy The commandment is to keep holy what he has made holding that's not so complicated to understand. And though his contribution to the Reformation was enormous for which we can be grateful. Luther was never the less on faithful to the Word of God himself with respect to the Sabbath. And can you imagine what started to happen to my thinking and to my trust and respect for Luther when I was able to absorb these amazing facts for a while I was a man with all the church but gradually I knew what I had to do and it's on that basis that I'm going to share with you something today and Luther helped me make that decision when I discovered these amazing facts and I don't regret it it was difficult yes but I don't regret it because it's Bible truth and that's the issue that's always the issue what is the truth what does the Bible say and once you see the truth you have no other choice if you're a child of God and you know the Bible discards word and once you see the truth you don't have any other choice you have to follow it no matter what my conscience is captive to the Word of God said Luther So here we stand here I stand and I'm going to share some of that with you. Although Reformation is not over there is yet work to be done and God has chosen the people to do it to continue the Reformation and we say that humbly not boastfully. To remember that because there is a price to pay always for faithfulness the 7th Day Adventist Church may very well be if you know what has been happening within Protestant. Over the last few decades subject admin's church may very well be the lone voice. And the context of churches that have been capitulating to culture and I'll show what I mean by that as they become as they have become increasingly active have made it to the culture and the most recent example of that is that of the United Methodist Church which just recently consecrated a lesbian as a bishop and there has been a strong reaction to that within the United Methodist Church and there has been serious talk of schism in that in the United Methodist Church and one big church already left it part of the ethos of the time of trouble is that faithful believers are in conflict with the world and worldly ness and that they envision the Church of Christ as a holy community and then to struggle to stay true to the Word of God the value of unity and like minded Christian friends as boundless and the Word says Listen to this 1st Corinthians one verse 10 I appeal to you brothers why it might as well implode and sisters because it's a generic by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that all of you agree that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you but that you being united in the same mind and in the same judgment and then let's look at Philippi ans chapter one. Beginning with Verse 27 or Paul says let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ so that whether I come and see you. Or I'm absent I may hear of you that you are standing firm and one spirit with one mind striving side by side or the faith of the gospel and not frightened in anything by your opponent this is a clear sign to them of their destruction of your salvation and that from God For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for His sake and gaged in the same conflict that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. The authority of God's Word was the issue about the time of the Reformation and it's the issue of today I've said a number of times but that's all right because the more you say it more it's heard the more sticks why it was that and is that Saul because I'm going to quote Ellen White here patriarchs and prophets page 55 and listen carefully what ever contradicts God's word we may be sure proceeds from Satan. I didn't say that she said it but it's true Speaking of the early church the book of Acts says in chapter 2. Verse 46 on the chapter 432 and 33 come to New in daily with one accord and singleness of heart. The full number of those who believed world one heart and soul and with great power the Apostles were giving their testimony and great grace was upon the ball but Satan the other me of God's church was determined to destroy its unity and so on even way back then divisions and schisms rent the church and still the devil strategy and all of that under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit brought about xor Taishan Zz such as these that I'm going to read to you and now from Paul and Peter and others because a disunited church is a powerless church Romans 1216 live in harmony with one another Romans 15 verses 5 and 6 I have the God of and Durrance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another and accordance with Christ Jesus. Together you may with one voice glorify God glorify the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus 2nd Current Events 1311 finally aim for restoration comfort one another agree with one another live in peace and the God of love and peace will be with you for the peons too to complete my joy by being of the same mind have having the same love being in full of card and of one mind what does the same mind mean the answer. As in Philip the inst 2 hours 5 members 8 have this mind among yourselves which is Yours in Christ Jesus who humbled himself by becoming obedient. To the point of death obedient to what. The Word and the will of God no division in full agreement and unified by the truth of God's word Durano me a very man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the ball of the Lord Psalm $119.00 verse $105.00 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path Proverbs 30 verses $5.00 and $6.00 every word of God proves true do not add to his words lest he rebuke you and you will be fallen a liar John 17 verse 17 sanctify them in the truth your word is true Philippians 21416 do all things without grumbling or questioning that you may be blameless an innocent children of God in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation among the whole you shine as life's in the world holding fast to the Word of Life Colossians $316.00 let the word of Christ while in you ritually teaching and admonishing one another and all wisdom 2nd Timothy I've got the reference wrong there but anyway. Do your best to present your selves to God as one approved a worker who has no need to be ashamed rightfully handling the word of truth that's what Paul said to young Timothy who was going to take his place not too long in the future as the leader of the early church rightly handling the word of truth 1st Peter 2 verses 7 and 8 those who do not believe stumble because they disobeyed the word as they were destined to do Revelation 22 verse 7 Behold I am coming soon Blessed are those the one who shapes the words of the prophecy of this book and then John one verse 5 the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it and then Jesus says to his people Matthew 514 you are the light of the world let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father who is in heaven now all of the reformers that I have mentioned this week and others including the wall then Sheehan's did not have all the light but they were firmly united on what Ellen White calls quote the grand principle listen to what she says General Wright controversy page 2 party 9 the ground principle maintained by these reformers was the end fallible authority of the Holy Scriptures. As a rule of faith and practice and practice the Bible was their authority and by its teaching they tested all doctrines and all claims and we might as well say all proposals or changes now she did not hesitate to use the word infallible in all sub times we hear accusations against the fundamentalists and I remember Dr Tom Blinco who was the chairman of the theology department at the seminary when I 1st came there I heard a rumor her hearing him say what's wrong with being fundamental and believing in the infallibility of the structures as being fundamental Let me repeat again what you said the grand principle maintained by these reformers was the end fallible AHORA te of the Holy Scriptures as a rule of faith and practice the Bible was their authority and by its teaching day tested all doctrines and all claims now she did not hesitate to use the word infallible which means incapable of error on erring regarding faith and morals the word the scripture will not mislead us or deceive us what it says is God's truth and I remember when I came to the seminary I was a Lutheran yet I had decided I wanted to discover the truth a group of the professors up to 7 or 8 agreed to meet with me re Wednesday evening to discuss any subject that I wanted to talk about. The only stipulation was done I would give them a week's notice in advance of what I'd like to talk about and I as I remember correctly there were 5 or 6 of them and I when I raised questions or something the response was Well let's look at what the Bible says and it was masterfully done I appreciated it so much oppose the Bible say and we're going to do that today take a look at that and what I have shared with you up to now represents the foundation of my spiritual heritage which compelled me to eventually join the 7th Day Adventist Church when the Lord got my attention and I want to assure you that when I was at the seminary still a looser and in these discussions with faculty members nobody they treated me with a great deal of respect they always called me Pastor homes until eventually it became brother home but nobody made any kind of promises to the mo but he said if you joined a 7th Day Adventist Church while we're going to do this you're going to be here you're going to do that no nothing I want to make that clear Well nobody misunderstands that I was enticed to become a 7th Day Adventist by some you know major promise regarding my future partner. 777-1009 171971 and now by way of illustration I want to put everything that I've said this week in the contemporary context in which our church finds itself today. And I'm talking about the ordination issue and of disunity the threatens the mission of this church I know this is a sensitive issue there are some people that wish we would talk about it all but I'm sorry it's there it's a crisis we have to deal with it and we're going to look at 3 Bible texts that are crucial to the issue but 1st I want to review the Bible the principles of Bible interpretation and that's called hermeneutics by the way that the Lord has given this church by means of the Spirit of Prophecy that we believe in the spirit of prophecy or not if we do then we need to listen Alan White's principles of Bible interpretation number one. Take the Bible as it reads she says Wright controversy page 88 the truths most plainly revealed in the Bible have been involved in doubt and darkness by a learned man who was a pretense of great wisdom teach that the scriptures have a mystical a secret spiritual meaning not apparent in the language employed and then she goes on and she says if men would but take the Bible as it reads if there were no false teachers to mislead uncomfy use their minds a work would be accomplished that would make angels the lad on call so the 1st principle take the Bible as it reads. Remember the 1st publication of the Bible in the vernacular when vernacular language at the time of the Reformation was a major event in human history and in the history of Christianity because it made the Word of God available to everybody so this is for you and me as individual believe or take the Bible as it reads you have a question you have an issue you have a problem take the Bible as it reads The 2nd principle focus on the Bible's plain statement she says quote men that ignore the plain statements of the Bible to follow their own heard reason priding themselves and their intellectual attainments they overlook the simplicity of truth simplicity of truth review and Herald January 27885 Number 3 The 3rd principle the language quote This is a quote the language of the Bible should be explained according to its obvious meaning great controversy page 598 and in the throes of coming into this church I was thrilled when I read these simple uncomplicated principles of Bible interpretation principles are easy to understand and an easy to apply by any person who believes the Bible is the Word of God who reads it in faith who trusts its console seeks to understand it and is determined to live by its truths you don't need advanced academic degrees. Or training in the biblical languages to use alone why it's 3 principles and arrive at valid and trustworthy conclusion Luther once remarked the a farmer with the Bible in his hands has more wisdom than all the bishops of the church together now I want you to open your Bibles to 1st Timothy Chapter 3 verses one through 7 I'm reading from the English standard version the saying is trustworthy if anyone anyone aspires to the office of overseer he desires a noble task therefore an overseer by the way the Greek word is a piss. Soul that is subsidized translated Bishop therefore an overseer must be above reproach the husband of one wife or you can privately agree a man of one woman sober minded self controlled respectable hospitable able to teach not a drunkard not violent but gentle not quarrelsome not a lover of money he must manage his own household while with all dignity it is his children submissive for if someone does not know how to manage his own household how will he care for God's church he must not be a recent convert or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must be well thought of by outsiders so that he may not fall into disgrace into a snare of the devil so it's as if anyone aspires How would you define that anyone is still a man or a woman if anyone aspires to the office and the office is a position of authority to exercise a specific function of overseer the Greek term as I mentioned here or overseer is Episcopal us as it is also in. Titus just one verse I've been translated overseer into English Standard Version and bishop in the King James and in the Revised Standard Version the pronouns in that whole passage that I read could either be translated he or she but only if the context is ignored but in order to be accurate and not mislead the reader the translator translators had to use masculine pronouns that's why it continues says the overseer must be the husband of one wife and it says. He for mercy for must manage he how will he care for God's turn he must not be a recent convert or he may become puffed up you get the point now why and why do all of the pronouns have to be. Translated in the masculine Where is the key to that. The key is follow and in verse to husband of one wife it's talking about is a husband a man or a woman a map. That's the obvious meaning. So because it's talking about a man all of the pronouns of follow have to be an interpreted or translated in the masculine gender you see that in other words that person that someone must be that's an imperative must be above reproach must above the reproach must be the husband of one wife or man the one woman sold the obvious meaning of the language is that the Office of the overseer that is one who oversees the spiritual life of the church is to be occupied by a man and the intent is clear a scar as I'm concerned anyway some people think I'm just being a grumpy old man and I don't appreciate women I do and by the way if you study the role of women in Scripture God has up so pergola to have role for women it's a pearl of to this is not a matter of being anti women. So being the husband of one wife or man of one woman is a prerequisite to the list of qualifications in other words it's 1st this person is has to be a man and then the qualifications follow while if a minister and his wife are divorced because the minister has committed adultery can he still function as a pastor no sori. Now that's a question. Paul was not married more was Timothy married. And they were ball Paul was an apostle Timothy was a leader in the church so I don't think that we can take it that far now the young man that's my associate right now he's a bachelor he's single 31 years all he would like to be married but he doesn't fall the one yet and. I think the Lord would prefer pastors to be Mary because that would give them the kind of experience that helps them understand many of the problems that exist in their churches you know when families and so on. And the way that. That's that's all I can say because it isn't that clear anyway by no stretch of of the imagination could that phrase husband of one wife be made to read wife of one husband or person of one person and we need to keep that in mind too especially today in the midst of this gender confusion that we're in our society and to conclude that Paul's use of masculine language does not preclude the possibility of women serving in that office is hypothetical It defies logic by denying Paul's statement of fact now let's turn to Titus. Hurst chapter will read Probert 7. Well let's start. Let's start with diversify Paul writes to Titus Titus is in on the island of Crete and Paul says this is why I left you in Crete. So that you might put what remained into order and appoint elders in every tone as I directed you if anyone is above reproach the husband of one wife and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery and insubordination for an overseer as God steward must be above reproach he must not be arrogant or quick tempered or a grown cord or violent or greedy for gain but hospitable a lover of good self controlled upright holy and disciplined he must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught so that he may be able to give instruction and Psalm the doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it that's quite a statement now where Paul again clearly identifies overseers or bishops pastors elders as as male and it's obvious that elder does not refer to any older person either male or female but was already recognized as one with authority among the believers how do we know that because the plain language says an elder is to be the husband of one wife or man of one woman what is the obvious meaning here 1st the elder is to be a male there is no such thing as an elder S. elder is a male term 2nd he is to be married to a woman not another man and to only one woman the spiritual leader holding the office. Of overseer Bishop elder pastor in every town is to be a man who upholds God's standards for the institution to marry even if as we raised earlier Can he be a bachelor if he is a bachelor he still has to be committed to God's standards for Christian marriage. Yes we do and that's a problem by the way that decision was not made at a general conference session it was not the decision of the World Church. And I remember I had just become an Adventist in 19711974 I think that action was taken and I remember say this is trouble for the church because it's going to be used as an argument. Yes and that is you know I'm sorry that's just the way it is and the way the man who serves as a overseer Bishop pastor elder has to hold firm to the trustworthy word and be faithful to that and hold to that and teach the Word of God without fear and without compromise his ministry rests on the authority of the Bible alone not tradition and especially not to the demands of culture at any time at any place and that is the obvious contextual meaning of Paul's language here and Ellen White does stateful to her own principles of interpretation hermeneutics and understanding as well as so the biblical trajectory which you hear that word used when she says and acts of the Apostles page $95.00. And the work of setting things in order he was referring to Paul's letter to Titus and all the churches and ordaining suitable men to act as officers officers. Office the Apostles held to the highest standards of leadership outlined in the Old Testament Scriptures what was she referring to the fact that there were no priests in the Old Testament. There were no apostles no male priests in the Old Testament there were no male apostles in the New Testament Jesus appointed no all female apostles that's their fact and I hear people say well that was because of the culture of his time. Come on the trajectory of scripture is no male priest in the Old Testament no male apostles in the new and Paul's teachings on this in the early church. Are no females and I say it wrong. Yes that's right thank you for that correction the whole female priests Mo female apostles no female overseers in the early church for all churches now turned to Glacier in Surrey 28 this is. A major text used by those who are in support of ordaining women ministers collations 328 I'm going to read starting with verse 27 for as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek there is neither slave or free there is neither male nor female for you are all one in Christ Jesus Now proponents are saying that this is a live in a study gender distinction. What is the context what is Paul talking about is he talking about church order or is he talking about that as. Yes So he says those of you who have been baptized into Christ your trees are the same whether you're male or female by you know you're saved by in the same way the men and women are saved whether you're a Jew or a Greek or slave or free or man or women you're all one in Christ Jesus we understand that simple but if you if you take that to extend the extreme it fits right in with the gender confusion today people said there is no such thing as male and female today or you can be whatever you want to be. That is an old such thing as biological gender which is utter nonsense and when people talk to me like that I I say if you want to know whether you're a man or a woman stand in front there on their front of a mirror and take your clothes off. It has nothing to do with the way you think or the way you feel in the beginning God created male and female that says and he liked what he created in like that arrangement praised God So in his instructions to Timothy and Titus concerning the organization of congregations was Paul simply reflecting the culture of the Times expressing his personal opinion. The ing a male chauvinist or was he exercising his up a stolid authority. He writes what he says above male female roles in the church 1st Timothy 315 he says so that you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God which is the Church of the Living God A pillar and but trusts of truth now let's say this in the context of our of our nation and the democratic system we live in a republic gentlewoman run for political office yes no problem would you vote for a woman if she was running for governor of Michigan if you agreed with her political philosophy and her plan of course someone thing to do with that as a woman qualified to be a professor in a university yes. If she has the right training and so on and the abilities yes we're talking here about setting things in order in the church you see the distinction and this is not a matter of. Inequality men and women were created equal under God but with different roles I'm sorry but that's what the Bible teaches Paul when he writes appeals to the order of creation 1st of is he to 13 that Adam was formed or than Eve and by doing that he affirms the male headship principle a stablished by God at creation male headship does not mean did domination I mean this is crazy I get. Dizzy when I read that kind of stuff. Doesn't mean domination it doesn't mean that the male can what word do I want. To do in the Bible to steer the husband's duty is to love as white sacrificially love is always sacrificial and if he doesn't love her how can she be submissive The wife is to be submissive but how can she be submissive if her husband doesn't love her is not kind to her is not good to her does not provide for her you see what's so complicated about that the institution of marriage was a stablished by God and it's wonderful I love my wife I'm so happy and my marriage. Yes. Yeah we're. Here you. Know. A husband is to love his wife like Christ loved the church and what did he do he gave his life all right what Paul says is under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit like everything else in the Bible therefore the language that he chose as not irrelevant and meaningless and we tend not to ignore it and the more than we can and ignore the language of the strictures when it comes to the Sabbath Furthermore the culture of his time or our time is not a trustworthy principle of Bible interpretation Coast culture changes Ellen White wrote in early writings page 96 numberless words. They need not be put upon paper to justify what it what speaks for itself and shines and its clear ness lesson truth is straight plain clear and stands out boldly and its own defense but it is not so with error error as soul winding and twisting that it needs a multitude of words to explain it and its crooked form let the plane remember 1st 1st law to move selected messages 101 let the plain simple statements of the Word of God be food for the Mind this speculating upon ideas that are not clearly presented there is dangerous business on hold. And finally speaking of himself as a servant of Christ and stored of the mysteries of God That is one who cares for and protects the word Paul says that it is quote required of stored that they be followed trustworthy 1st Corinthians $41.00 and $2.00 and other words that they can be depended on to stay true to the Word of God and he applied to them so. In the same text in verse 6 he says For your benefit he applied it to himself for your benefit to the reader that you may learn by or from us but just say Paul and his companion Apollo's not to goal beyond what is written that none of you may be puffed up in favor of one against another. So I as stewards of the mysteries of got it is our duty to affirm and sustain the biblical trajectory that began before the fall and to which 1st Timothy saree and Titus one are obviously being faithful and not go beyond what is written in scripture and it's also our duty to protect the church from what I call a hermeneutical disaster and to ask if Paul really means. That an elder is a man. Brings to mind the serpent's question to Eve and Genesis 31 when the serpent said Did God actually say don't eat of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and he did he really say that did Paul really say this you see doubt leads to disbelief and disbelief leads to disobedience. Which is Satan's intended consequence that's why he asked that question to be Did God really say he was introducing a doll which led to disbelief and disobedience and we have Adam and Eve's fall into sin that becomes easy to disobey and then convince other people to do the same Jesus asked and loop 188 when the Son of Man comes will he find face on earth what kind of faith was he talking a ball faith in God's Word in God's Will faith in God's low in his grace in his mercy and his redeeming transforming power now let's rephrase that and ask this one Jesus comes will he find a full ness in his church faithful to what faithful to his word. To his will to his revealed truth now I know there are there are folks and don't agree with what I've said on this but all I could say is with Luther here I stand my conscience is captive to the Word of God and I believe in my deepest heart disses the safest way for our church to goal now is there room in ministry for women is God calling women to ministry read some of those marvelous things that Ellen White says about women and ministry what is there what are they. Most capable of in all you look at up yes there is but the question then is what ministry. We need to train the ladies that God is calling into that kind of ministry we need to train them for that ministry and then Ellen White says we can set them apart for that by the laying on of hands and by the way we lay hands on people other than at ordination. We lay hands on babies when we're one we. Dedicate them we lay hands on people when they're baptized we lay hands on people when they're commissioned as teachers in our church schools we lay hands on deacons and elders and and so on part. And people that are sick we pray for them to lay hands on them all to lay hands on somebody doesn't mean that they're ordained to the office of the overseer Anyway we have we need to be much in prayer because we are in danger of being dissed United I would hate to see that happen. Nobody is more regret told them I am that that the issue of women's ordination is the one that caused me the real issue of all of how we interpret scripture to come to to the floor grow that's the real issue and that's why I titled my book the tip of an iceberg they ordination issue is just the tip of the ice for the summer just portion of an iceberg which is the most dangerous and in this case is principles of interpretation that's the real issue Well thanks for listening to ALL I have a volunteer to pray. 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