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Preparing the Church for the Last Hour Mission Part - 4

C. Raymond Holmes

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C. Raymond Holmes

Pastor, missionary, retired seminary professor, and author

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Conference

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  • June 19, 2019
    10:45 AM
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Heavenly Father we thank you for today we thank you for your grace and mercy we thank you for the privilege of being here at this camp meeting and we pray for a special blessing today for everybody to cheer including the children in Jesus name Amen. Yesterday when our time was up we were talking about God's love for the world and that we are to love the world of Dan John says in Chapter 2 oars 15 do not love the world or the things in the world but we're told also to love the world that he loved he loved it so much he gave His Son to die on the cross. And has that world gotten any better is it any better than it was on June 6th 1984 what came after that Korean War the Vietnam War the Middle East. The war on terror it's still going on human beings make war they kill each other and that's the world that God tells us to love like he loved but then he tells us don't love the world or the things in the we're what sounds contradictory but then he explains of himself 1st of all he says If anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him sounds contradictory but world here refers to those things that are hostile to God That's what he's talking about and that's take the church away from him and then he tells us what he means by the things in the world of desires of the flesh we're 16. Lost the saddle problem today oh boy and the desires of the eyes pride and possessions and I mentioned yesterday that anybody in whom the word of God abides knows what he's talking about to Lol the revealed will of God for right just living is to mold the difference between good and evil. And the Church of the last hour is being worn by John and his to know the difference but it's being warned about the devastating effect of the sensuality and we're experiencing that today with all of this gender confusion and materialism on the mission of the chart and which are not from the father as John says in verse 16 chapter 2 and this is serious this is very serious for the Church of the last hour Ellen White says in the 1st testimonies page $531.00 those Listen carefully those who think they can serve the world and yet love God are double minded losing all sense of their obligation to God and yet professing to be Christ's followers they are neither one thing nor the other they will lose both worlds unless they cleanse their hands and purify their hearts through obedience to the pure or principles of truth so what is the conclusion the church that's faced with meat is faced with meeting the demands. Of the last our mission needs people who love the Lord and who love his truth supremely without compromise without equivocation just like those young men that landed on the beach at Normandy and 1944 that's the kind of people that we have to be. We're a part of the last church in the last Our mission now though her John was written near the end of the 1st century John's thoughts as an apostle and also as a prophet or on the close of earthly history Aciphex only on the last hour and the return of Jesus as he says in verse 28 of chapter 2 sold that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him and shame at his coming why would we shrink from him in shame. And for not doing what he told us to do and by the way you believe in the Trinity don't you Father Son Holy Spirit. Our Father Son and Holy Spirit co-equal In essence yes but what what was Jesus taught in the garden of a 70 year remember. What was his prayer. He was facing the cross What would you do if you were facing a cross you would be somewhat reluctant wouldn't you. But on the other hand if you're the son of God or a believer you would want to do what he wanted you to do so Jesus was wrestling with the will of God that was his prayer wasn't it what did he say. Nevertheless not my will but yours be done how would you describe that. Was he in submission to the father yes even though they were call equal in essence Jesus did what the father told him to do sent him to do and he said what the father told him to say some people today are having a problem with that and I don't understand that having a problem with Jesus being in submission to his father that doesn't mean that he was subordinate to him or not equal with him it simply means that he did what the god what the father sent him to do and said what the father told him to say of us that denigrates Jesus know it elevates him especially as our example and that's what John is talking about if if we don't do what he tells us to do then we will shrink from him in shame and rightly so all and we need to remember as I said earlier the Jesus that John was close to Jesus and traveled with him he watched him as he ministered to the needs of the people he had heard the promise of of the Lord's return from Jesus himself and he was there with the rest of the disciples when Jesus said Matthew 16 verse $27.00 the son of man is going to come with His angels in the glory of his father and then he will repay each person. According to what he has done. So John in in his Gospel he quotes Jesus' words to the disciples when Jesus says if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and I will take you to Myself that where I am you may be also and then later in the last book of the Bible also written by John in Chapter one Verse 7 he says Behold He is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him even those who pierced Him And all the tribes of the earth will wail on account of him and John's word on this is the Bible's last word Revelation 22 Verse 20 he who testifies to these things says Surely I am coming so a man says John a man comes Lord Jesus Nah he's an old man overjoyed with with that hope and just as the Church of the last hour will do he lives his last hours in the throes of political social and religious turmoil and the parallels are incredible between the time in which he was living and the time of the last hour in which we're living but his mind does not dwell on the signs but on that which they flaunt and it's on the Church of the last hour why because during the time of the last hour and just before the return of Jesus there is a job to be done. A mission to be fulfilled a mission to the finish and by the way that's the emphasis of the current administration of the Michigan conference and an order from the Church of the last hour to do that it must be able to distinguish John says between the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error the ability to do that to distinguish between truth and error is critical for the last our church to mold a difference and to take an uncompromising stand rest troth no matter what that's how serious it is and furthermore that church must be prepared to meet the demands that are required by the mission to be fulfilled during that last hour and this letter is that is most relevant for the Protestant churches of today it's most relevant for us who claim to be the remnant shirk but the Protestant churches of today that developed on the basis of the Reformation principle of sola scriptura need to read 1st John the Bible alone as you know for a theme for faith and life not the demands of culture or philosophy or scholars what the Bible. That is what Protestantism has historically based its confection God used Protestantism to revive Christianity after the dark ages and I I was. So impressed with Ellen White's chapters on the reformation in the great controversy and what she said the ball polluter. Martin Luther he's the he's still a hero of mine God used to power fully because Protestant Protestantism was used to revive Christianity after the Dark Ages. But however to sad to say some of the great Protestant churches are abandoning Sola Scriptura and in the process there scuttling the Reformation I'm not going to go into detail but I could develop the church that I left to become an advocate fulfilling the characteristics of the churches that John identifies and Revelation 17 verses 4 and 5 as the prostitute harlot daughters of the woman he calls Babylon is a great and as my good friend see more of a Maxwell. Points out in his marvelous who is no sleeping in Jesus as marvelous commentary on Revelation and titled God cares in volume 2 he says no daughter is born a prostitute they choose to become Saul It is a step by step process of compromise and even apostasy one of the most disastrous disastrous of those steps on the part of Protestantism was buying into what is known as the historical critical method of Bible interpretation and I was confronted with that when I was a seminary student in the Lutheran seminary in Chicago my 1st confrontation with a historical critical method and which dulled. Predominates over faith and the biblical messages question from an increasingly secular base and so because of this retreat from solo script or off there are 3 things in this letter that today's Protestant churches find very difficult to deal with the 1st one is a close relationship between faith in Jesus and the keeping of God's commandments Number 2 the difference between practicing right just ness and practicing lawlessness and 3 the conflict between the Spirit of God and the spirit of anti-Christ and so in the light of the last hour John warns the church he loves of the great danger to its message and its mission in other words the deception introduced by the spirit of anti-Christ. Aren't I. Repeat to 3 if a close relationship between faith in Jesus and the keeping of God's commandments current Protestantism has difficulty with that and number 2 the difference between practicing right just in us and practicing lawlessness and treat the conflict between the Spirit of God and the spirit of and to Christ. And it's a deception introduced by the spirit of the anti-Christ that he is concerned about it's the same spiritual power that opposes Christ which Paul speaks of as the mystery of lawlessness and the lawless one whose appearance Paul says in 2nd does alone eons to. The beginning with Verse 7 is that it's appears that his appearance is by the eye to be of Satan with all power and signs and wonders and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing because they refused to love the truth and so be safe so Satan is the power behind the lawless one the spirit of the anti-christ is nothing is deception in other words get you to think in a different way deception that is wicked and he appeals to the also refused to love the truth after I was exposed an issue really to Adventism it's the ology it's understanding in Scripture. I was faced with a critical bit decision and I want to talk to. A Lutheran Bible student he taught at a Lutheran Bible Institute in Minneapolis a man that I respected and shared with him what was happening on us I asked him what he thought I should do and he told me he said you need to give your wife an ultimatum either her marriage or the advantage chart and I was I have to say I was tempted but the Lord did something he brought to my room my remembrance the fact that I made my marriage fall before I made my ordination ball and I made that ball seriously to God not just to my wife I promised God that we would be together until light until death do us part so I couldn't give her an ultimatum. I couldn't but then I went and dug all my old Lutheran material because I wanted to see exactly what the ball was that I made when I was ordained and you know it's Cevallos I made when I was ordained into the 7th Day Adventist Church eyeballed to preach and teach the Word of God. And didn't say anything about loyalty to the Lutheran Church. So adore started the open the anti-Christ all says Satan is known as the power behind the lawless ones the Inception where you think and the direction is away from God's revealed truth now was my struggle easy No I wasn't. I had a lot of friends and history and spiritual experience our heritage is in Finnish Lutheran positivism it was a struggle yes it was difficult but I I had to do it there are people still today that say that the only reason I'm on that business is because of my wife that's not true but that's what people say I didn't listen to her at all I had to I had to find out from other sources because I knew exactly what would happen if I became an ad but most people would say all you just followed his wife. Anyway the direction is away from God's truth and how how is that by by outright rejection or by denial or by the addition of human philosophy and or ecclesiastical tradition or by reinterpretation or all of these put together and then attempting to persuade others to believe a lie. How could I have continued in the Lutheran ministry when I knew definitely and even Luther help me with this as I said yesterday that Saturday was the Sabbath of true Sabbath how could I also have I how could I have stayed a pastor and promoted Sunday after I learned that not would do it now did John old this one he wrote the words we're now going to read. Look at chapter 2 again with verse 18 he says children it is the last hour and as you have heard that a crisis coming so now many anti-christs have come there for we know that it is the last hour they want out from us but they were not of us for if they had been a stay would have continued with us but they went out that it might become playin that they all are not of us but you have been on ointed by the Holy One and you all have knowledge I write to you not because you do not know the truth but because you know it and because no lie is of the truth Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ this is the anti-Christ he who denies the Father and the Son No one who denies the Son has the father whoever confesses the Son has the father also let what you heard from the beginning abide in you if what you heard from the beginning abides in you then you too will abide in the Son and the father and this is the promise that he made to us eternal life I write these things to you about those who are trying. To deceive you and then turn turn to accept your 4 and let's read the 1st 6 verses 11 do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God For many false prophets have gone out into the world by this you know the Spirit of God Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God and every spirit that does not come test Jesus is not from God This is the spirit of the anti-Christ which you heard was coming and now is in the world already little children you are from God and and have overcome them for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world they are from the world therefore they speak from the world and the world listens to them we are from God whoever knows God listens to us whoever is not from God does not listen to us by this we know the Spirit of Truth and the spirit of error now here is a great controversy that's what the great controversy is all about as it affects the very faith and lives of the members of God's Church impacting its message and its mission in the critical time of the last hour here is the great struggle for truth that will determine whether or not the church is fully prepared to meet the demands of its mission and that final hour of history John is the only New Testament writer who uses the term anti-Christ and I said earlier it has 2 meanings against or opposing Christ. And instead of or in place of rights he doesn't specifically identify the and to Christ here he leaves that up to us who if we're interested and concerned enough and the last our church ought to be will search for biblical and historical evidence of the identity of the ethic right especially the books of Daniel and Revelation comparing God's word with the record of historical events from the time from their time up to the time of the last hour and drawing what for the believing Bible student ought to be obvious conclusion I remember one my wife and I were studying with a young with a young woman who was interested in our church of our dining room table where we met and we would simply open the Scriptures and chill things door she was a believe or she had been a believer for years already devolved moment she would read and listen and her jaw I would literally go off and she would say How come I never saw that before. She became one of our best shot to school teachers what John tells us is that the presence of the spirit of the anti-Christ and false prophets are the proof that it is the last hour but to an old that is not enough to know it should suck all armed bells ringing causing that church to be most diligent to mold the truth so that they can overcome them for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world the spirit of add to Christ. And John also calls our attention to one of the effects a spirit of add to Christ has on the Church faced with the demands of the last hour mission and this is the saddest thing of all makes us weep chapter 2 verse 19 they went out from us but they were not of us or if they had been of us they would have continued with us but they went out that it might become plain that they all are not of us a pep patient wasn't as I was preparing this of temptation was very strong not to deal with this just to ignore a to some hope tiptoe around it but we can't do that because this is central to 1st John and to the theme of this series the study we would not do justice to 1st John if we ignored what he says here he's talking about deception about abandoning loyalty to the Church of the last hour to its message on its mission he's saying that the faith of those who went out was not firm enough not fully established in the truth hence they are easily persuaded easily swayed by the end to Christ on the false prophets to believe a lie and furthermore the fact that they went out indicates that they were really not of us otherwise they would not have been persuaded by lies but would have continued with us as we said is this not the sad experience of the remnant church we all know former members of left us laymen pastors teachers even theologians relatives and we feel like they have betrayed us even reminding us of Judas who betrayed his lord over a. A few pieces of silver No only a friend can betray you but in reality it is God's truth that is betrayed not us they cause trouble for former brother and now why is it that people are more ready to believe the stuff that they read that they see on the internet web than the testimony of Scripture Old Yes. You're comparing this to the shaking I don't know whether we can do that or not it's possible yes now you know some people may be thinking well past their homes you left your former church is not the same thing I'm sure some people would see it that way but the Protestant church I was part of was in the process of abandoning solo strip Torah and still is right now it's a huge struggle but I was determined to stay with the Bible and I still am. I still am I Shirley and I were invited to attend a meeting with some members of our former denomination who were concerned about things that were happening in their church especially the retreat from scripture alone and in the course of r r.. Meeting with them I asked if it could be considered a form of apostasy and a answer was yes they said and the next obvious question was What does the Bible the Word of God alone say God tells us to do in that kind of situation. All of her my people you know the answer if we had here to Scripture to solo scriptura is to come out of her by using a Pa state jerk why lest you take part in current sins lest you share in her place in the other words lest you participate in her work of apostasy and deception as well as the ultimate consequence which is judgement God is being gracious this is his grace when he says come out of her if you are in the Apostolic Church he wants to save you there is a big difference after all the tween falling for the deceptive lies of the anti-Christ and false prophets and obeying the call of God to come out as the distinction clear one is a response to lies and deception the other is a response to the call of God based on his word alone the choice is up to each one of us aren't. Some of them have it's all a part of preparing the Church of the last hour to meet the demands of its mission Yes speak up so I have hearing aids I probably. Look at all the. You know if. It. Were. My wife and of nowhere else to go. Well concerning the return of Jesus the events of preceded the Bible tells us and 2nd Thessalonians to verse one not to be quickly shake and mind or alarmed either by a spirit or a spoken word or a letter or a website. But it also says Let no one deceive you in any way for that day will not come unless the rebellion the King James says a falling away comes 1st Apparently this prophesied those sad experience as part of that preparation it doesn't weaken the church it is intended to make are stronger and why is that because there is no room for vacillation no things are getting serious and those that are left are more united more certain more determined to remain faithful to Bible truths no matter what the example by way of illustration as never could nosers image it stood on feet of iron and clay which cannot mix in other words it was the weakest part of the image what it stands on and where it stands in other words truth and false of can not be mixed if you try what do you have. Somebody would say well you have half truth no you don't have half truth you have false hope you have a lie there's no such thing as half true and where did the stone come from which represents Christ and His Kingdom where did it strike the image of smash it to bits. On the feet the weakest part the rock is solid its own breakable with no cracks or weaknesses or it cannot do its job and what is the antidote that protects the last our church from the poisonous effects of the antic Christ and false prophets Well it's in the text Daniel to verse 18 I think or knowledge 1st John $218.00 The church knows that it is the last hour it knows that the spirit of antic Christ is in the world already because of its careful study of the Bible it knows its enemy and how that enemy operates it does not ignore that reality sweep it under the rug as it were pretending it's not solved the evidence of the Bible match the of and the events of history and the last Our church is keenly aware of the insidious elusive diabolical power of the spirit of the anti-christ its deep study of the Bible and they bills it to identify the anti-Christ power and so be prepared to meet it. And 2nd that church has been anointed by the Holy One and you all have knowledge says John and the annoying thing that you received from him abides in you and you have no need that anyone should teach you the word does the teaching Jesus said and John 16 verse 13 when the Spirit of truth comes he will guide you into all truth and notice the relationship between the annoying thing and the truth the members of the last hour church are not all awed by human or ecclesiastical claims of superior spiritual knowledge not awed and seduced by pomp ceremony wealth or power it knows that the humblest person with the Bible in his hands has added his disposal more wisdom on it comes to the knowledge of salvation than all secular and religious authorities combined and why is that because the law s. do not have the same source as truth truth comes from the Living Word of Jesus and is revealed in His written word inspired by the Spirit of Truth lies come from Satan broadcast about by the spirit of and to Christ and they constitute the spirit of error the last hour church abides in the truth which it has heard from the beginning and because this is so its members abide in the Psalms and in the Father. Abide means to stay with it certain of it on the move by false what it means to remain and to continue Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him John 831 If a condition if you abide in my word you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Now he did not say that we are His disciples if we simply say so but only if we abide which means stay remain continue in His word sole law of Torah and Protestants ought to know that. And it's only on that basis and on the authority of the last our church can test the spirits to see whether they are from God Now listen to this statement from Martin Luther quote If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every position of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at the moment a packin I am not confessing Christ however boldly I may be pro fessing Christ where the battle rages there the loyalty of the soldier is proved he says and to be steady on the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point now unfortunately I don't I don't I don't know why but I don't have the floor but I know that's a loser. Now listen to what all the white sauce testimonies Volume 3 page 281 if God a pours one sin above another of which is people are guilty and is doing nothing in case of an emergency and difference and neutrality and a religious crisis is regarded of God as a grievous crime and equal to the very worst type of hostility against God let me ask you. Is is the is our church in the last hour cured facing a. Crisis of any kind right now we need to listen to the final word this media was brought to you by audio person a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio version or if you would like to listen to more servant leader visit w w w dot audio Verse dot org.

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