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Connecting the Dots of Adventism

Andy Im


Andy Im

Associate Director for the Dept of Public Campus Ministries in the Michigan Conference. Director of the Institute of Adventist Apologetics for C.A.M.P.U.S. 


  • August 3, 2019
    1:45 PM
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Heavenly Father we thank you so much once again it's Friday it's preparation day and we thank you so much the time has just passed so quickly and what a blessing it's been to reunite with with friends some friends I haven't seen for years and years and years and what a blessing it is to be reunited to make. Reacquaint ourselves with old friends and to make new ones and also to meet with family and and so forth we just pray for your blessing today as we share some concepts that we specifically delve into the understanding of the admin its worldview and we we ask all of this in the name of Jesus Amen. All right so one of the things we covered last time was this very important of loving God with not just all our heart that must be done of course in all of our soul and with all of our strength and might but also with all of our mind it's very important that we also have a intellectual understanding and basis for why we believe what we believe and ultimately we go to to strengthen that understanding of course it's the Word of God and scripture and so here we have this this gee this isn't Joining us to love with love Him with our entire being. The importance of having an advent aben it's world view our let's talk a little bit about were of view in review there are lot like belly buttons or they're often described like but like belly buttons everyone has one but we don't talk about them very often often they we their assumed there are pre-supposition ole and so start something we often think about another way to view a world view is there are very much like reading glasses or the the lend by which we've you all reality and how we interpret reality and circumstances then events that take place in the world we have christians that as an death 7th day adventists have a certain way a viewing in seeing society and that type of thing it's also can be framed work or a sad a fundamental beliefs through which we view the world in are calling and future in it the world view or your or were viewed becomes your all to meant explainer and we kind of touched upon that already and one of things that a world view can do is is provide a sense of meaning a sense of direction and a sense of destiny to your life and we're going to explore how that it happens in a few moments The admin is worldview is best expressed really through narrative and history and dates or are very important to add minutes as you know 844 it is you know it's around that time that our church began as a move manner except some years prior but but $844.00 is very meaningful to us we also have prophecies that describe a whole variety of events that have taken place in our world and we ended last time with the understanding that our or our chronology begins or our STARTING POINT our point of emphasis as for is when sin entered the world and destruction and that type of thing begins really with the fall of loose for and that's not to say that our evangelical brothers and sisters don't have that understanding per se but certainly we have that 7th Day Adventists emphasize that in our in our understanding in the chronology of scripture so here you have a creation the fall redemption and restoration this is something that we share with our evangelical brothers and sisters creation for example helps us to understand why we're here today how we got here God created the heavens and the earth he created human beings in his image it explains our purpose why God created us you could find all of that in the Genesis account and that gives us a sense of identity is this gives us a sense of meaning and purpose in our lives were created in God's image we have a specific destiny in mind. Then you have the fall and the fall of man and women and woman if you will the fall of man describes why or really explains why there is sin and suffering in the world why there why evil exists and and then you have redemption the cross and this is really Gonds God's plan to restore. What was lost at the fall so God God this is redemption is Jesus his plan to make things better. Once the fall into place and of course restoration deals with what God has for a future what he intends for future is to restore everything to make it. Brand new again and pure and holy and eradicate Dathan and those type of types of things. So the great controversy metanarrative with a great controversy. The notion of the great controversy by the way how many of you have read the book great controversy see a show of hands so you know exactly should know exactly what we're talking about when we talk about the great controversy metanarrative it's as one feel I've been a see a login put in a worldview featuring a great cosmic controversy between God and Satan it's a hallmark of administering thought and understanding the great controversy it contains the story of the past the present and the future it gives us our place in this world and it gives us a broader understanding of this this struggle going on between God and Satan. The summary of the great controversy so here are some elements of the great controversy right it was initiated with the fall of Lucifer it concludes after the millenia when Satan and his angels and the wicked are ultimately destroy the great controversy concerns Satan's allegations against God's character his law and his government so all these accusations are being leveled against God's government his character who he is fundamentally and of course the great controversy also includes god's plan to to make things right in not just in this world but the universe at large because his character came under attack. A battle is now being waged for the allegiance of all sentience beings both in this world and the worlds beyond and of course the controversy culminates at the end of time over loyalty dance law and of course the Sabbath question becomes very important at this time the warfare against God's law these are of a just page on the page there but the chapter it is finished begun in heaven will be continued to the end of time every man will be tested obedience or disobedience is the question to be decided by the whole world all will be called to choose between the law of God and the laws of men there will be but 2 classes at the end so another key component or key element in the great controversy theme is this notion of the vindication of got right so the assumption here is that Satan has has attacked God's character his name and so part of the get great controversy and is to restore God's name before not just this world but the universe and how is his name ultimately vindicated Well number one through the life of Jesus. Number 2 the cross the plan of redemption had a broader and deeper purpose than the salvation or the mere salvation of man it was not for this alone that Christ came to the earth it was not merely that the inhabitants of this little world might regard the law of God as it should be regarded but it was to vindicate the character of God before the universe so in the context of the Cross and the plan of redemption. God's purpose was larger than just this earth to this result of his great sacrifice its influence upon the intelligences of other worlds as well as upon man it would justify God and His Son in their dealings with the rebellion of Satan it would have stablished perpetuity of the law of God and would reveal the nature and the results of said so God let sin permitted Sid to run its course so that people could see for themselves the end result of said. So God is ultimately vindicated by the life of Jesus the cross of just dealings in Cosmic History God's wisdom his justice and his goodness will stand fully vindicated it will be seen that all his dealings in the great controversy has been conducted with respect to the terminal good of his people and the good of all the worlds that he created if that's something we can trust in that God is in the business of doing things correct injustice in all honesty and before all the world so that they can see that that who he truly is. Vindication also happened on the basis of Satan being exposed for who we can you imagine the angels and the on fall the world to witness seeing the cross and the extent to which Lucifer was willing to murder and kill the son of God. And so that was a huge revelation not just to us but to the Worlds and he was certainly exposed. In the life of Christ and at the cross but God is ultimately vindicated also by the means of his just judgment how many of you believe that justice is important yesterday we talked a little bit about about little kids who are getting raped in and mistreated on all levels and we we read a quote where where the author of stated you know I could not believe in a god that would just sit idly by and say oh that's done a big deal no love itself motivates and it becomes the impetus for justice that takes place so his just judge a band also serves as beings of vindicating the character of God So just to explore this a little bit more and how critical it is to vindication and to write the non Abas the a load and a very striking this this commentary he states here God may forgive evil that was done in the past but the evil that was done to the Jews in the Holocaust to the murdered man and his family to the rape victim the family decimated by a drunk driver the relatives of those killed by a terrorist bomb what right has got to say hey that busy evil can somehow just be wiped away so that appears not to exist anymore is this not simply another way of belittling evil. Making it appear that it isn't really as important as all that and what right has got to say that he forgives the offender when it is Joe Smith not God who has really been hurt and notice what he what he concludes God deals with this question on the basis of judgment and so a lot of times we've opted for the thought of judgment and we give this cold sweats at night time and that type of thing but God is Alton elite bringing justice on the basis of love and we can be confident in his in his justice but he is dealing with this question on the basis of Judge bed and it serves its purpose in vindicating the character of God What do you do with all these purple evil perpetrators throughout time God deals with this question of justice on the basis of judgment itself in the book great controversy. Elaborating further from an ad been a spur specter of the we could receive their recompense India Earth so Martie steroid as in a moment while others suffer many days all are punished according to their deeds Satan is made to suffer not only for his own rebellion but for all the sins which he has caused so there is justice there is accountability countability and I know that that's hard to digest sometimes but it is a necessary component if God is going to be just and the justifier of those who believe in Jesus. In the cleansing flames the weekend or at last destroyed root and branch Satan the root his followers the branches the full penalty of the law has been visited the demands of justice have been met and the hell and heaven and earth beholding declared the righteous this of Jehovah So even in judgment there is. Justice is met and it's a fact that that we would see as something that vindicates God's character and then we can see the underlying basis for why it must happen. Agonists conclude the cosmic controversy after the millennium with the 2nd death and the resettlement of the earth so if you look in terms of that timeline you have the fall of loose or fall of Lucifer you have the creation you have fall the fall then you have redemption restoration and ultimately God is going to to end sin and once and for all in the cosmic battle between God and Satan What are some of the implications of the great controversy will it provides a theocracy or a rationale for the existence and continuation of evil so sometimes the question has been raised and maybe you've asked this question why didn't God just. Lucifer at the point of sin why didn't he just why permit all of this to happen and bear in mind that Lucifer had spread these lies in these accusations and it was it had gone now and so what do you think would have happened. What do you think would have happened if Lucifer would have immediately been killed can you imagine if all the angels are like oh you know they're at potluck or whatever and haven't and and also to Jesus and God comes in the room and says Lucifer I know what your doing. That's right all right he just went in. And he just blew up right and then God said to the rest of his creation Sir B. Oh yes yes you know it would have been the motivation would have transitioned from that of love to that of fear and so here you had the great controversy playing out you have a theocracy or a rationale for why why this had to continue on that some level how many of you ever been you know my parents were really strict growing up and I remember when he would say go outside and go get a stick. Side if you're like OK well you know I'd go to the backyard and be like OK what stick I'm going to get and I'd get this dry or like flimsy stick and then I would crack it a little bit you know break it a little come back in of course hide that like squish it back together and sure enough through a spanking us they would break in half and I'd be like yeah you know but but I always remember when my brother would get that speaking and you know my dad would ask a question and I said my brother put the lighter by him right then I'd be like OK I'm telling the truth right but my motivation was fear right and God does not accept allegiance to him on the basis of fear right he want to. Not to fear in the sense of you know when he comes around where were trembling before his presence so it provides a theocracy a rationale for the existence and continuation of evil provides a unique window into the logic and mind of God the limited in his dealings with created beings provides the ultimate meaning of human history itself and of course the great controversy will be will be played out at the end of time we spoke yesterday of of how having an identity a 7th Day Adventist described in Revelation Chapter 2. Well verse 17 those who who keep the command commandments of God who have a faith in Jesus that can move mountains and to work in behalf of the Lord we have a mash mission a specific mission of taking the everlasting Gospel to the world and we also have a specific message the 3 angles message is found in Revelation Chapter 14 so this all of this gives us a sense of of our calling our place in this world and how we should be living our lives in and Pastor Justin was alluding to some of these things as well this morning and of course you have this climactic and universe universal testing truth over the Sabbath the Sabbath will be the great test of loyalty for it's the point of truth especially controverted when the final test should be brought to bear upon men but the line of distinction will be drawn between those who serve God and those who serve and not I don't know the next slide that on the show with you it's also provides a balance that's from the writings of L. and white and when I read this I was like wow this is really I praise God for the balance here that we see in the writings of L. and I notice what she says of 3rd angels message calls for the presentation of the Sabbath of the 4th Commandment and this truth must be brought before the world no doubt but the great center of attraction Jesus Christ must not be left out of the 3rd angel's message. By many who have been engaged in the work for this time Christ has been made secondary do you think we have often been guilty of that in making Christ secondary to propositional truth we have not included Jesus in our message perhaps that's why some of our messages are so dry and it's not winning hearts because Christ has been omitted from the message Christ has been made secondary and theories and arguments have had the 1st place are we really good at theories and arguments we have we all have Ph D.'s and they're right we're very good at that it's been a secondary and the glory of God that was revealed to Moses in regard to the divine character has not been prominent and that's why I always stress that yesterday's message it is so important that we emphasize the character of God who we really is to the world and that it's what the world needs at this time. The climactic and universal testing truth of the Sabbath the investigative judge of it so this is another component that you can map out chronologically since 844 we've been living during this period and so there are some serious aspects to add to Biblical Adventism and yet we do not have to fear we been touching upon that this whole week prophet love casts out. All fear and so we can fall in love with Jesus and stuff and and concepts like the investigated judgment don't have to bring fear to our hearts and mind while the investigative judgment is going forward into heaven while the sins of the pen 10 believers are being removed from the sanctuary there is to be a special work of purification of putting away if in and when the work of investigation shall be ended when the cases of those who in all ages have professed to be followers of Christ have been examined and decided then and not till then probation will close in the door of mercy will be shot you know there was a thing that we often heard as added and said and give me a show of hands if you have heard this that the only thing we take to heaven is are our characters and ultimately ultimately love the man's that who I am right right now currently who I choose to be evolution only is the person that ultimately God also takes to have been right if there is some type of brainwashing that occurs right like like I become a different person in other words I become someone that I'm I'm not by choice by by decision that I have I have personally made than him making me into something I haven't chosen to be is a violation of love itself right and so it's very critical that we understand that that becoming becoming Jesus like here is an important aspect of not just ave theology but it's the underlying fundamental basis of love itself that that you know you look at a computer. And you know you you when you hit enter it if it's working correctly it does certain things right doesn't have a the computer does not have a choice in the matter just does what it's programmed to be and the Human beings are different God God does not just merely program program us to be a certain way he interacts with us and we work together to be transformed by his grace so that transformation is an important process in our lives today. So you have the investigative judgment of course the close the probation chronologically speaking time of trouble the 2nd coming and so forth now want to shift gears just a little bit away from the narrative and look a little delve into the Avonex world view as expressed as a cluster of beliefs the sanctuary doctrine as you and I know and by the way if you haven't studied the sanctuary message I would really really encourage you to do that because it also it's like the great controversy. That it helps explain the plan of redemption in a way that's comprehensive in a way that makes sense and the way that that enables us to understand what God is doing in the process of salvation great controversy page 423 the subject of the sanctuary was the key which unlock the mystery of the disappointment of 844 it open to view a complete system of truth connected and harmonious showing that God's hand had directed the great Advent movement and revealing present duty as it brought to light the position and work of his people a significant component of the avenues worldview concerns the restoration of God's image within humanity the re creation of the physical the mental and spiritual capacity when Adam came from the creators and he bore in this physical mental and spiritual nature a likeness to his a maker but by disobedience of this was forfeited through sin the divine likeness was marred and well nigh obliterated man physical powers were weekend his mental capacity was lessen. And and his spiritual vision was that was made him. So we also need to understand and I actually have been a let's do that Saul approach that in a 2nd hold on the role of the health message is a means not the end its role in going to delve a little bit into its role in spiritual in our spiritual development and more ality noticed a statement here let none who profess godliness regard with indifference the health of the body and that it will not affect their spirituality a close sympathy exists between the physical and moral nature and one of the one type of food I really really love how many of you have love Indian food show of hands OK. How many of you have gone to a buffet and you and you had a lot of work to be done in the afternoon and you go at lunchtime because it's the buff time right and it's all you can eat how many of you have gone to an Indian before 8 to your heart's content and then some have you done that. And how many of you when you got back to work recognize that you were not going to be productive that day. Right that's the bottom line and so there's something about food that can impact our life and it's not just in terms of our capacity to to work but it can impact and it does impact even our our more ality it can in impact our spirituality and and that's that's just the nature of things and so having a healthy diet. It's not a checklist but it's really a practical matter HOW can I best serve God if if I'm about to preach a sermon in other words if someone gave me the option and that's at a 1 o'clock meeting someone gave me the option of going to an Indian buffet I would absolutely say no way am I going to be. Indian book because I'm going to coming in here in stupor. And I'm going to be drunk with with that all the heaviness of that food and so it becomes very important that we we understand the practical aspects of our diet and how can affect our hearts and minds very important anything that lessens physical strength and feeble the mind and makes it less capable of discriminating between right and wrong we become less capable of choosing the good and have less strength of will to do that which we know to be right there's a reason why Elisabeth's father did not partaken in the painkillers as she mentioned the other day because he wanted to have his mind clear as he was dealing with his patients and in the same way you don't have to take medication to be to have your level of your capacity to function decreased by simply what we eat on a on a day to day basis and so one of things I've been doing lately I we're talking last night. As I was eating some food. That that how important it is our diets and that kind of thing and so I've been losing a lot of weight I've been very intention of trying to get more in shape and fit because I realize I've happiest when I'm also physically. Exercising and the blood is this rushing all through my body if you know that feeling and you just feel so pumped and and so it's really a practical thing as well in our lives it's role the health benefits role in the appreciation and and acceptance of truth how many of you have heard that saying that healthful message is the entering wedge. You've heard that right a lot of health professionals that are and it's an entry wedge in several ways right number one it does open doors as as as alluded Elizabeth mentioned it can open doors the minister can just go out there and say hey I'm going to preach the Bible in some of these countries but the health work can gain entrance into some of these lands and even in this country and barriers can be broken down so it's an entering wedge on that basis but it's also an entry wedge on the basis of once we shared the health Bassett's to to the world and to people and praise God. Health consciousness and awareness is not just something that I have been a star promoting today not the rocks are are crying out right the research that's coming out and it's like it's crazy because like Mandela why I said this like 150 years ago and no like they're saying it's Bay It's crazy how science today validating things that she said years and years ago but another way that the how often the message serves as an entrant wedge is in the mind of those who are listening to and hearing the truth when their minds are clear or when they're eating healthy or when they all are exercising their mind becomes a lot more receptive their comprehension increases so that when the message is preached they are able to receive it into their hearts because they have a more comprehensive understanding because there's the physical limitations or decreased as a result of eating well and exercising and that type of thing so there's 2 ways that that the health Bassett's becomes an entering wedge you need clear energetic mind in order to place the right estimate upon eternal things if you indulge in wrong habits of eating and thereby weaken the intellectual powers you will not place that high I asked a man upon salvation and eternal life and a man by the way I mean this is something that is really a practical matter but it also impacts our spiritual wellbeing and those that we're trying to reach. When properly conducted the health work is an entry GW edge making a way for other truths to reach the heart the health message as I mentioned before isn't the message the health reform is closely connected to the work of the 3rd the 3rd message for reasons that I've just described yet it is not the message our preachers should teach the health reform yet they should not make this the leading see in the place of the message so it's it's a means. And it serves ever they recruit show an important role but ultimately we're not saved by how big and we are we're not saved by the house strict. We don't eat in between meals were ultimately saved by grace in the message that the Gospel methodology that has died for you and I the health message helps us to understand that more clearly and better. Another key understanding or fabric of Abu Anas identity and message is the notion of freedom of will and the liberty of conscience we have a very and it's not you to if you need to add business of the Baptists also have a very strong Many of them have a very strong understanding and basis for separating church and state and we've always believed that as a church for years and years and I do believe that that awareness and consciousness is eroding within Adventism and you see it especially in social media and the political debates that are taking place and and it's something that we really need to to to grapple with and think about and hopefully the General Conference is of course exploring some of the stuff but freedom of will and liberty of conscience very important. Understanding for admin is God desires from all His creatures the service of love homage that springs from an intelligent appreciation of his character he takes no pleasure in a forest allegiance and to all he grants freedom of will that they may render a half voluntary service a man how many of you appreciate and love the fact that gaunt ultimately gives us the authority to make these decisions. Every human being is created in the image of God is in doubt with a power a kin to that of the Creator individuality power to think and to do it is the work of true education to develop this power what power well the power that the came to that of the Creator individuality power to think and to do to train and the it's a work of true education to develop this power to train our youth to be fingers and not being or reflectors or man's thoughts very important concept that we need to understand what about the surrender of the will. You know when God told Eve I used this illustration last night of every tree you may for. There are so many good trees even during the end and even how many of you have tried Mengele Steen if you eat really really good mangosteen the ones that don't have the worms in them because many of them have worms in them and you've got to be very careful but Mengele Steen is an amazing amazing fruit and so here God says all of every tree you may freely eat. And sometimes in our Christian experience we almost think as though this this individual individuality this power to think and to do we kind of see God more as a dictator than a God of love and so if I gotta say oh every tree we freely eat. Please give me permission can I eat durian no gotta really told you go out there and eat what you want to eat I love you this food is made for you you don't have to be sitting there and say oh if you would you eat during let's say and then you get indigestion he said oh maybe God didn't want me to eat durian because I don't know why but he's just a dictator and whatever are you can see how having a warped view of got can really skew how you live out your Christian life going touching upon last night's message and so we need to also have a right correct understanding of freedom of will. Free will the surrender of the will is represented speaking of the Sermon on the ballot the surrender of the will is represented as plucking out the eye or cutting off the hand our will is to be yielded to him yes that we may what I love this passage and we may receive bed again he sanctifies it and then you and I can make decisions you and I can choose and go through life not as though God is looking over us but as free moral agents truly God frees us from the bondage of sin were liberated from our depravity of our natures that he unable was us to now move forward foolish and only in doing the things of God is powerful we receive it again but it's purified it's refined and so linked in sympathy with the divine that he can pour through us the pines of His Love and Power How many of you want that kind of experience where he. He purifies us and then we go about our life as free moral agents the way that God intended it to be the ad business review this is in closing when there's a faster than I thought that I attended but the absence worldview How should I live my life what are some practical ways so. This is really actually took out a lot of fly the maybe I should have let them in but but developing studying the Bible and developing a worldview a comprehensive understanding of of the biblical worldview ultimately I believe is very important not just intellectually but also for our spiritual good and here are some ways that you can start in terms of expanding your biblical understanding and your biblical worldview and it goes without saying to read our Bibles on a daily basis you know you have your devotions and how I personally see devotions. Is it's God's way for me to connect with him ideally if you can in the mornings to connect with and to jive to synchronize my day with him it's kind of like your Fitbit how many you guys have like like a tractor for your steps and whatnot don't you just love when it when your watch thinks it thinks with your phone and then you just know how many steps you've gotten and all of that and so you know you and I need to think are nice with God And so having devotions with God kind of gets me in tune with my Lord and Savior and He speaks to me in the mornings right so you have devotions devotional Bible study but there is also a need for deeper Bible study and Pastor Justin was sharing some of this yesterday how important it is also to engage in deep bible study you know William Miller when you read through the Bible he wasn't just reading devotionally that's very important but he was also engaged in very deep bible study challenging the intake and by the way. Studying the Bible deeply is not just for pastors it's not just for preachers all at the end of the day when things go down you're not going to be saying Well Pastor Justin said this years and years ago and I believe in that no your faith my faith must be my our own. And we must believe in the Word of God for ourselves we must memorize scripture if we can so that we have a solid foundation for why we believe what we believe to read in the Bible very important the Old Testament to I dabbled a little bit in the Old Testament but the Old Testament is Oh Richard and if you read it it will change your life you also see how God took really messed up people and he transformed their line to be prophets and patriarchs and his BE have read it with a purpose to know God read it as a as a unfolding story of God's revelation of His plan of redemption through history and what he's doing through every period and helps you and I do understand what God is doing today in the redemptive process so read it as an unfolding story one of the books I alluded to yesterday read a good book to read the non Ab and its author of a very good book if you want to get a basic understanding of worldview what it is and how it can really inform your life Nancy Pearcey the really really good book on that and of course read the conflict of the ages series and that will ultimately also help in the stablish a biblical world view so with that in mind we're going to go ahead and close let's power heads as we close this segment how many Father we thank you so much that the Word of God appeals to a spiritually. It appeals to us physically and also appeals to us intellectually and mentally. And we thank you for a for being comprehensive in your approach to reach us because we're all so different we think differently and we just pray that we'd also view and understand things like the judge had been and vindication and diet and health in this correct light and in its correct footing in the way that the Bible reveals that the way that the spirit of prophecy also shares it and sometimes these things are misinterpreted because we're not reading for ourselves we're just taking it at face value from something we've heard years and years ago but Lord give us that strength to begin to study for ourselves like never before so that we may be rooted and grounded in our faith that we can trust and believe in you we thank you Lord we ask this all in the name of Jesus who listens and answers our prayers Amen this media was brought to you by audio 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 W W W audio verse or.


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