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The Bible, Christ, and Culture

Michael Hasel
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Michael Hasel

Director of the Institute of Archaeology at Southern Adventist University

Conference

Recorded

  • January 3, 2015
    9:00 AM

Series

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are in this message was sent to you I see some sequencing from Phoenix Arizona other resources like this visit us online at www. USC led him to have the Sabbath everyone is privileged to be with you here again at UIC Leslie here in Arizona where I spent three years of my life and thoroughly enjoyed the Sonoran Desert especially in the springtime blooms this last week I'm not so sure I enjoyed it as much we record the Grand Canyon it was twenty seven degrees I hadn't prepared for that an Arizona SELA snow on the ground I spent Christmas in Michigan invariant Springs and there was no snow it was fifty degrees I don't know something 's happening in the climate I think with our heads for prayer before we begin today our heavenly father today we want to be instructed by the living word of God during the Sabbath school time as we cover the topic of interpreting the Bible in the world we live in today as we look at the Bible Christ and culture we pray that your Holy Spirit would be present in this room and present in every room where the television is turned on his people are watching we thank you that we serve the spirit that guides us into all truth we pray for that spirit to be active right now in Jesus name amen it was my second year in college I was twenty years old and I have decided to go overseas to experience a dream that I studying your free year learning the language that I had grown up with is a boy Bogen Hoven was a small school in Austria there are no cameras in Austria it's Europe and we had a great experience they are those first months as I was studying and learning in it was a wonderful small school environment coming from a large University Adventist University to a school of about a hundred and fifty students it was a family one thing I didn't enjoy very much and that was the cold it was one of those wet fall experiences where you basically have this constant drizzle and rain and this kind of wet cold it penetrates the matter what kind of clothing you're wearing down to the very bone and I remember I could count maybe on two hands how many days of sunshine I had seen that particular fall and now it was November and one day while I was in the dining room my father called that went to the phone and after some small talk you said you know Michael uses your mother and I have been talking and we're going down to Florida again this year down to Key Largo for our vacation time we do have done this every year for many years and we were wondering if you want to join us the relatives are all could be there together there's good about forty of us camping on the Gulf of Mexico and you know how it is and I looked outside and it was drizzling again I thought about those blue azure waters I thought about my cousins and I windsurfing across the Gulf of Mexico I thought of our scuba diving ventures and had a camp state park I thought about all of the things that we did even Santa Claus coming on the back of a pickup truck on the beach I bought a beach volleyball I thought of the things we did when we were there each during our Christmas holidays for two weeks in my death it looked I want you to make a decision I explained my father that I was planning on staying in Europe that year I was planning on spending the Christmas time with my uncle Kurds who was a pastor in Germany and my cousin Patino who was a student with me at then in my death as well there's no pressure it's your decision you're an adult now you need to make these decisions on your own but what I will do I will go to the travel agent this morning I will look at possible flights because it's very late in this discussion and I will call you back in three hours and when I call you back you need to have made a decision because we'd act on this right away I remember after lunch going to the tenets of room my cousin 's room type permission from the girls deemed to go there because I was her cousin and I told her about the phone call and I said you know I don't know what to do when we have these plans to go to your house then and now I don't know how I has a simple decision whether to go home or whether to stay here for Christmas and the Gina caught me off guard kisses Michael have you prayed about it I felt a little guilty because I was a theology student second year and she was a high school student and I hadn't thought about praying about it so I said no I I haven't done that yet is just as well maybe we should do it right now I said sure so we knelt down in that dorm room her and her roommate Katrina and a strange fifteen on Katrina but anyway and I knelt down in that dorm room and we pray over what seemed like a very simple decision the plan that afternoon was to take them in the town of my car I was kind of the taxi of the school because I had a car and they want to do some shopping so we went into the city of Brownell in Austria and as they shopped I wonder this one of my favorite sports store where all the latest scheme equipment was available and but I didn't look at the skis I kept thinking about that phone call at three o'clock I kept thinking about what I was going to say I kept thinking about all the things that I would have to deal with when that call came in I kept praying all afternoon and asking the Lord for guidance and I can tell you something it didn't work the way it sometimes works I didn't have any handwriting appear on one of the storefront windows there was no lightning flash that came out of the sky they told me work showed me which way to go there was no clear voice that said this is what you should do but I can tell you this as I continue to pray every time I thought about going home for Christmas that is that the United States and Florida I felt uneasy and every time I thought about staying I felt a certain peace in my heart and as the afternoon continued those feelings that that sense strengthened on both sides and so fifteen minutes before the phone call I made up my mind that I was going to say the phone rang my father was on the phone he says Michael I'm so excited I just got back from the travel agency from Ruthven and and and we found the flight is to go from Frankfurt to London London to New York New York to Miami will pick you up in Miami two hours will be down on Key Largo a beautiful islands south of Florida and you know what he says even your grandmother is coming this year she's never been to Florida before all by the way but with your decision I looked out the window and it was drizzling again my result was fading fast it was silence on the phone to my death at all by the way your mother and I made a decision we are paying for the flight you don't have to worry about a thing him him and said dad I've been praying about it all day I don't know how to explain this to you but I really feel like I should say there was silence on the phone again your mother will be very disappointed I know well listen the booking will hold for seventy two hours I I didn't purchase anything it will hold for seventy two hours if you change your mind call me back and will buy the ticket but it's your decision hunt up the phone I didn't call him back two weeks later the rain had turned to snow and we were in a winter wonderland driving through the various up into Germany were my uncle was a pastor it was beautiful snow laden trees since this felt like Christmas was supposed to feel in Germany I only spent one Christmas before Germany when I was a child in the black forth with my grandparents silently looking forward to this Christmas trees in Germany are not like Christmas trees here their real the lights on the Christmas tree are not the kind you buy at Walmart they are real candles with real fire on them I don't know what firemen do they are but but not Christmas Eve but that's what they do the Christmas trees don't a lot they don't go up in August they go up in Christmas Eve when the Christ child calms as tradition has it in that part of the world when the price Chuck Christ child comes and brings everything sounds looking forward to this special time and sure enough the tree was there the meal was there we were soon around the tree and exchanging gifts when the telephone rang my father was on the phone visit Michael you to talk to someone and I think that was probably the most him phone call that my father had ever had I never had to think I talked all four urologists in those few minutes it was an hour I can't remember that was by the way when a phone call overseas was four dollars a minute probably with the same price as my ticket would've been finally my dad got back on the phone and he said these were just as Michael and so glad he didn't come this year I'm sorry daddy you don't miss me know Michael he says it's not about I have you booked on Pan Am flight one oh three that crashed in Lockerbie Scotland last week my mind went back to the drive from into Germany the newscast that came over the radio as we were driving up seven forty seven had taken off from London Heathrow and while it was still ascending to its cruising altitude something happened it blown up hundred and eighty nine people on board had been killed people in the city of Lockerbie that the plane crashed into a few of them had been killed as well everyone on board was lost the trade word in front of me the lights were different to me I simply handed the phone 's my uncle is the impact of that moment began to settle in in the next few months as I wrestled with huge questions I can tell you that I don't have all the answers still today to those questions but as I kept thinking back on that afternoon between twelve and three when I was praying about a simple decision to go home are not my mind kept him again to the three of us kneeling and that dormitory room and will often than asking the Lord for direction it was a crisis in my life unlike light of her face the disciples that Jesus hung on the cross must have faced a similar identity crisis it was the moment that the entire universe with witnessing the entire universe the created world were focused on that moment in history as the son of God on suspended between heaven and earth the mystery of unbridled love with being poured out on a broken and fallen and undeserving race Scripture had predicted this day again and again from the first verse is of the book of Genesis in Genesis three fifteen when the promise was given to Adam and Eve all the way down through the prophets of the Old Testament with detail and with precision this moment was predicted through the sacrificial system as lands were brought into the heavenly into the sanctuary this moment with crystallized in the mind of Hebrews and people who studied it for centuries the moment had finally come in the fullness of time nearly two thousand years of passive methods that moment of crisis and triumphant today we are entering into that time in history when the fullness of time has come again Jesus is coming soon what happened at the cross with the prelude to the ultimate triumph of what would happen at the end of the I find this death approaching is even at the door when Jesus will return victorious in the clouds of heaven to take us home we are certainly living once again in the fullness of time the impending crisis at this time in Earth 's history our time will be unprecedented the pressures upon God 's people will be focused and relentless and deliberate how will we be able to stand faithful during this time how will the Seventh-day Adventist church that has been given a unique and distinctive three angels message be able to proclaim that method faithfully through the vicissitudes of theological controversies in discussions through all of the things and challenges that will rise from within and from without how will we be able to move forward to meet Jesus when he comes this morning during the study time together I want to focus on two episodes in Christ's life that we might understand how he faced two of the most critical moments of crisis moments identity moments in his time here on earth we have learned so much already in this conference has been a blessing hasn't it the first is found in Luke chapter four I invite you to turn their we find the temptation of Jesus referred to several times in the Gospels but here in Luke at the very beginning of his ministry after his baptism in the Jordan River Jesus went into the wilderness for forty days and nights were told in the spirit of prophecy that this was a time of soul-searching and prayer and communion with his father a time when he knew after his baptism that his ministry was about to begin I gave you focus on those things that matter most forty days and nights no food no water Jesus spent in that wilderness I've been in that wilderness I've been in that desolation it's more desolate than the Sonoran desert here in Arizona Maryland he walked and knelt and prayed and after those forty days and nights when he was at his weakest moment Satan approaches him with three temptations they cover every temptation that you and I will ever face the first temptation with appetite Jesus responds and says it is written Man shall not live by bread alone the passage refuses quoting from his Deuteronomy chapter eight verse three and it continues but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God Jesus points back to the living word and in the second temptation when Satan comes now with his own quote from Scripture crisis offered dominion of the world 's kingdoms and glory and worldly honor Jesus response it is written you shall worship the Lord your God and serve him only the enzyme crisis will be a crisis of worship a worship when we worship and yes even how we worship Christ reminds us that true worship is focused on God not on anyone else finally during Satan 's last temptation for the love of display Jesus responds it is said you shall not put the Lord your God to the test with each statement Jesus responds with Scripture it is written notice Jesus did not say it was written him will be written did not say on my fourth see I say to you no instead uses the present tense because you see the word of God is the living Word of God it was not spoken for some distant culture some distant group of Israelites coming out of bondage from Egypt in the past it was not meant only for future generations now it is the living Word of God it is authoritative for every generation it is present truth for most decided by the truth of Christ it is present through for us today the Bible and the Bible only with Christ's method of defense against the most vicious attacks from the adversary Jesus was God but his defense in his defense he submitted to the word of God it was not opinion it was not an elaborate convoluted arguments it was not with words of personal animosity it was with the simple declarative words of Scripture for Christ Scripture had the greatest authority the greatest power when he was powerless over the centuries of Christian history the same power of the word of God has sparked the greatest reformations and revivals the world has ever known the great Protestant Reformation came as a result of the Bible being translated by Wycliffe and Luther and others into the language of the peoples of Europe the writings influenced Jerome and Bohemia for the first time kings and princes commoners and children could read the word of God they could read for themselves the truth of righteousness by faith the Bible which had been hidden and suppressed for centuries provided incredible new life that penetrated the dark ages three distinct principles of biblical interpretation came out of that intense Bible study as these people for the first time again wrestled with God the first one was solicited to run the Bible alone Catholicism had one of held her traditions and teachings of the church beside the Bible and with time they superseded the Bible the Protestant Reformation call people back to the Bible the Bible alone was to decide matters of life and faith the Bible is the inspired word of God called for people to be on Beatty and to the law of God Paul writes all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching for reproof for correction for training in righteousness second Timothy three sixteen the second principle that the Protestant Reformation came up with them should still be practiced by us today is that Scripture is its own interpreter not every person it is own interpreter the Bible is to be interpreted from within itself the old and New Testament shed light on each other for all one another one biblical passage helps unlock another biblical passage the biblical writers themselves employed this method again and again throughout Scripture Daniel studies his contemporary Jeremiah was back in Jerusalem and face on his writings discovers that the close of that time of exile that seventy year period is coming to an end any praise to God for himself and for his people in Reformation and repentance Paul makes biblical arguments based on quotations and direct references to the first chapters of Genesis and many other books in the Bible Peter in this theme text for G Y C this year refers back to Isaiah and the prophecy concerning the Messiah and sees that fulfilled in Jesus Christ in the New Testament what inspired writer at for the same Holy Spirit provides clearing fee based on earlier biblical teachings Scripture does not contradict Scripture for how can the Holy Spirit contradict himself Jesus clearly states in John chapter ten verse thirty five Scripture cannot be broken there is unity in the diversity of times places and inspired writers who wrote as the same Holy Spirit guided them with this principle is difficult or obscure passages must be interpreted from the basis of less obscure passages as we come together if you study the word of God study everything that is to be said about a topic within the word of God don't leave anything out we have concordance is for that reason don't study a subject and use different subjects that are unrelated otherwise there will be confusion and misinterpretation misapplication by viewing all passages on the same subject from every side the interpreter can expect to arrive with the guidance of the same Holy Spirit at the biblical meaning one should not be able to take all passages in a particular one should be able to take all passages in a particular subject from different times in different locations and different writers and varied circumstances because all Scripture is inspired by God by viewing all passages in the same from every side we can arrive at truth on the road to Emmaus after his huge crisis that the disciples face Jesus applied this principle of Scripture is its own interpreter loop twenty four twenty seven tells us that beginning at Moses and all the properties found it to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself notice that Jesus again at this moment of the great prices for the future of the church expounds explains and describes how the Scripture from the beginning to be an reflected in and his mission and message Jesus again relies on the afford to give Scripture as he describes both disciples what really is message and mission was number three the plain meaning of Scripture there is always a temptation to try to find something innovative were living in the last days in the Scriptures and interpreted for a long time discharges been in existence for over a hundred and fifty years sometimes it seems to me that there are people in our church that are getting tired of the same old message and they want something innovative the new but brothers and sisters this is not the time for innovation this is the time to stand with the Bible in the Bible only there is always a temptation to think of something that no one else is thought before but the study of Scripture is not focused on us it is focused on God and his will for that reason it is always safest to go with the plain meaning or the most obvious meaning of the passage to argue for translation of the word based on some obscure thing that no other translation of the Bible seems to support this to cause confusion among each other as we read our Bibles together selected messages volume two verse fifty two on what has these words those who do not accept the word of God just as it reads will he snared into his trap in the context tells us that Satan 's trap when we read the Bible we look not for the complex but we look for the plain meaning of Scripture that is the same time simple and profound Jesus was simple in his words to the common people that he reached out to children should be able to read the Bible and understand the gospel in fact sometimes they surprise us with their insights young people here at UIC you should be able to open the word of God and come up with the teachings of what Christ has inspired through the old and new Testaments and finding meaning to life number three the sufficiency of Scripture there is a subtle teaching today that presupposes that we move beyond the Bible in order to be relevant for modern experience or culture this view argues that it is found in Christianity without it is found sometimes even within our movements that you argues that the Holy Spirit continues to guide the church to make decisions or take positions that go beyond the Bible and may even contradicts the Bible this is called in some circles progressive revelation and by other scholars who have come up with your terminology today a trajectory hermeneutics of trajectory that is hinted at by the writers of the Bible but that is really coming into fruition today in the church it holds that the Christ and the Bible writers were bound by circumstances and time and could not go beyond the confines of their culture since the Holy Spirit is at work today they argue the holy Eric continues to guide the church and that is true but the model of church authority over Scripture authority is not a Protestant principle of the Roman Catholic principle Jesus said in John sixteen thirteen when he disappeared into this he will guide you and all the truth for he will speak on his own authority he will not speak on his own authority but whatever he hears he will speak and he will tell you things to come like Christ he submitted himself to the word of God the Holy Spirit will not move beyond this authority Ellen White has this powerful counsel and great controversy Roman numeral page nine the spirit was not given nor can it ever be bestowed to supersede the Bible for the Scriptures explicitly state that the word of God is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested today we must continue to hold the concept of the sufficiency of Scripture Isaiah eighty first twenty says to the launch of the testimony if they do not speak according to this word it is because there is no light in them by the word the word law they are for raw is an all-encompassing word that refers to the teaching of Scripture everything must be tested by the word of God this means that the Bible is sufficient and authoritative in all matters it is foundational for every discipline whether biology psychology anthropology and yes even theology to move beyond Scripture is to move beyond the example of Christ the author and finisher of our faith the final principle of Protestant interpretation and we can met with some others as well we don't have time today prophetic principle of historicism the reformers were great students of prophecy and the historicists method of interpretation was the great basis of their study and writing historicism is the method of prophetic interpretation practiced by the prophets of the Bible prophecy is fulfilled over the course of history and is inextricably bound with history that we study the prophecy of Daniel and Daniel chapter two of this great image that Nebuchadnezzar dreams about and we see Babylon Egypt Persia Greece and Rome and the breakup of Rome into the countries of Europe and down to the very end of time when the rock cut out without hands comes down and plus is an established his kingdom that will last forever as he looks down through the purview of history we see that the sequence of these empires are exactly as described in the Bible Daniel seven eight nine further expand on certain aspects of his history the book of Revelation continues that Ellen White tells us these two books need to be studied today as never before we found we find internal fulfillment in Scripture as Assyria and Babylon is predicted by the prophets to destroy Israel and Judah respectively and we see a fulfillment within the Scripture itself as an archaeologist I have excavated many sites in Israel and I have seen the destruction levels of these predictions that are made in Scripture this summer at the site of what these we excavated the Assyrian destruction of Sinatra and we destroyed we also excavated the Babylonian destruction by Nebuchadnezzar just before he went into Jerusalem to destroy the temple these things these you points today have the tendency to become spiritualized and idealized in modern interpretation or there is a temptation in our circles today to have many multiple fulfillments for some of these prophecies we need to be careful careful that in the search for innovation and acceptance in the scholarly world around us we don't lose sight of the prophetic historicists interpretation of prophecy that has made and galvanized the Seventh-day Adventist church to be what it is today but with the rise of modernism and postmodernism the Bible is the basis for history prophecy has come under increasing attack the resulting tenants of historical criticism places man's autonomous reason man's eponymous experience and philosophical naturalism about the Bible of secular scientific worldview has become the main way in which Scriptures interpreted at universities and seminaries across this country outside of our church and yes it is even impacting our church as well but what does it do for the definition of Jesus and his mission and message what would we know about Jesus outside of the Bible the Bible defines who Jesus is the Bible defines what he did if you say there is no literal six-day creation of the beginning what you do with John one one three three puts stakes in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God all things were created through him if him three nine says God created all things by Jesus Christ Hebrews one one three two .net in these last days spoken unto us by his son by whom also he made the world Colossians one sixteen to seventeen for by him all things were created that are in heaven and are in earth all things were created by him and by him all things consist by rejecting the biblical view of creation you change the Bible definition of who Jesus is if you conclude that Isaiah was not a prophet with a power through the Holy Spirit to foretell the future through the prophetic gift than what you deal with the account of Jesus who stands up to read Isaiah in his home synagogue in Nazareth the people I've seen this boy growing up in their midst and suddenly Jesus is reading to them from the word of God is saying this has been fulfilled in your hearing they knew what he was talking about they tried to kill him afterwards if David did not exist then this is a real issue today that I'm involved with personally there are scholars today said David and Solomon are not historical figures at all but how does that work then with Jerusalem which is the oldest capital of the world going back three thousand years to establish Jerusalem what you do with the Psalms that are still read as liturgy in synagogues and churches around the world what do you do with the defeat of the Philistines and what you do with Solomon and the building of the great temple because there would be no Solomon if there was no David most importantly what you do with David as the progenitor of the Messiah for it is through the line of David that Jesus has promised what do you do with the last chapter of Revelation when Jesus himself proclaimed I am the son of David 's history and prophecy are inextricably bound together and both of those elements that have made us who we are are under increasing attack in the world today by removing history the power of the Bible becomes neutralized the word of God has become the words of men by removing the God who acts in history to his son Jesus Christ we destroy not only the prophetic word but we remove the historical reality of who Jesus is the resulting relativism of postmodernism tolerance for all ideas and cultures in the loss of the compass of morals has left society without any direction at all today's mantra the goal is ultimate freedom but it is Jesus who declares ultimate freedom to belief in him as an anthropologist I was trained here at the University of Arizona in Tucson we do we studied the lifeways the police and the practices of different people groups it was drilled into us that there is no privileged culture or society cultural relativism men's that we must come together and accept one another's ideas as equally valid and true even though they might be diametrically opposed societies that greeted people were considered as equally valid as societies that eight people infected work of missionaries was a particular annoyance in the field of anthropology comments like this are common missionaries have no right to go in and try to change people 's lifeways we must appreciate these groups and study them and leave them as they are but that is not what Jesus did did not come into this world to study and leave a as we are on him Jesus came into this world to seek and to save the lost and no matter what culture you belong to no matter what race you belong to an amount not no matter what language you speak Jesus came and died for you do this with rather exclusive when he said I am the way the truth and the life no one comes to the father except through me the problem with cultural tolerance is that it places culture about the Bible and the law of God today if we label something as culture it is almost referenced art is culture and the museums I hope people find to get into them when the church is in a Western world stand empty culture as the norm for determining the life of people and also our values but this begs the question with culture of the world six thousand five hundred language groups and cultures which culture takes precedence is that my culture visit your culture is a hybrid culture are our modern cultures today really superior to the cultures of the past I've studied the culture of the past and I have to differ I don't think so we've been evolving into superhumans why why do we think that because we have technology today the middle ages were known as the dark ages because the word of God was kept hidden from the people but today in the wake of the fastest technologies ever invented in human history and with data overload our world has been swept again into a deepening darkness you see we have access to the Bible as never before we can download them on our kindles and on our phones we can download the mishaps we have been in every room of our house we even have them in our hotel rooms here at UIC with all of this comes such monumental distraction Daniel predicted that in the last pavement will run to and fro and knowledge so increase the exponential increase in knowledge is so frenetic that none of us can keep up with it and we are desperately trying every day to keep up with the flood of e-mails texts and everything else left month I was in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum this country 's finest museum and what I feel display along with mom even Egyptian Temple a statue of Hadrian the Roman Emperor and yes even an inscription that mentions David for the first time outside of history what I see there I saw the first videogame Atari Pac-Man invented in nineteen seventy eight it was the first videogame I remember playing title play video games anymore by the way there's no time for that now is that now this videogame is an archaeological museum does that tell you how fast our culture is changing I want to ask you question today and if the question I ask myself because it is endemic for all of us it affects all of us if we spent so many hours texting tweeting e-mailing Facebook and Second Life instant Manning connected twenty four seven are we really more connected today than we did in the past is it possible that we spend less time on both things that matter most is the Bible still interesting for us today this is still relevant for us today are we spending enough time in the word of God are we spending enough time with family are we spending enough time on both things that matter most the church are we working for the church either we are under the impression that we are connected but in reality we are less connected with each other and with God than ever before in history sociologists are worried neurologists are writing books I have went home entitled the new brain studies of the public specialist that these technologies in the media are rewiring our brains physically altering our neural pathways shrinking the frontal lobe or spiritual decisions and moral decisions are made we have become numb to human suffering known to spiritual realities closed with an increasing obsession with ourselves but we think our culture is advanced because we have technologies the Bible gives us a very different picture the Bible tells us that when humanity was created at the beginning it was created perfect and we were created in the image of God the Bible tells us that humanity after the fall in the entrance of sin has been degenerating physically and mentally ever since what does this imply about us today should we at the end of earth history begin changing the teaching of God 's word relative I think God 's word based on the increasing dysfunction in modern culture the grass withers the flower fades says Isaiah but the word of our God stands forever culture changes culture is fluid culture is on shifting sand look at the reversal in government legislation on marriage in this country alone in the last ten years what does this apply in five rest today what are we thinking about is it coincidence that marriage and homosexuality and gender is also today is a coincidence that evolutionary theory has even become mainstream in major Protestant churches is a coincidence of the seventh day Sabbath has been largely abandoned by ninety percent of Christianity are or are these signs protected in the prophetic word of God Revelation fourteen sixty seven says then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell in the art to every nation try and talk and people the gospel is the universal gospel is not based on culture it is about culture saying with a loud voice fear God and give glory to him for the hour of his judgment has come and worship him who made the heavens the earth the sea and the springs of living water this is a direct quotation from the fourth commandment by the way it points back to creation my friends it is the very fabric of creation in Genesis one and two marriage between a man and a woman is the basis of family and culture center in Communion with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that is our fabric of our relationship with him and I believe that Jesus Christ is the creator and will re-create us when he comes again in the clouds of glory the three Angels messages are more relevant today than they have ever been in earth history we come to the left crisis in the life of Christ the powerful prayer of Jesus in John seventeen one through nineteen I can't read it all today women read some of it just before he endured the cross Jesus prayed this prayer for his disciples because he knew what they would be going through and I believe that prayer is still as valid for our to us today as disciples of Jesus as they were for the disciples in the first century verse one John seventeen father the hour has come glorify your son that your son also may glorify you as you have given him authority over all flesh that he should give eternal life to as many of you have given him and this is eternal life that they may get to know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent I have glorified you on the earth I have finished the work which you have given me to do and now O father glorify me together with yourself with the glory which I had with you before the world was first fourteen I have given them your word and the world has hated them because they are not of the world just as I am not of the world I do not pray that you should take them out of the world but that you should keep them from the evil one they are not of the world just as I am not of the world sanctify them by your truth your word is truth that you sent me into the world I also have sent them into the world and for their sakes I sanctify myself that they also might be sanctified in your truth commenting specifically on this prayer Ellen White has these words in historical sketches one ninety seven it is the duty of everyone to search the Scriptures for himself we cannot accept the assertions of man is infallible to those who oppose and announce our faith we say show us from the Bible that we are in error God 's word is to judge off in the last day and we want to know what saith the Scripture we are regarded with jealousy and bitterness because we will not accept as evidence the assertions of May him a father but we cannot purchase peace and UNC on my sacrificing the truth the conflict may be long and painful but at any cost we must hold fast the word of God the Bible and the Bible only must be our watchword crisis given us his Word what has built Christchurch over the centuries what is this thing got your what has preserved God 's church is the living Word of God as we answer if we enter into a different method of interpreting the Bible that introduces human reason human experience and culture at the norm about Scripture we will no longer be united we will have theological and cultural pluralism and the result will be disunity but most importantly we will be sacrificing the truth that summer after Pan Am flight one oh three I needed to earn some money I was a college student after all and I decided to work in Switzerland where I heard you could make three times as much money as working construction back home so I went to the capital of Switzerland burn got a job in one of the most prestigious five-star hotels next Parliament I was looking forward to it because my friends were to be there but my friends deserted me they went to this youth Congress praise the Lord for youth congresses they went for youth Congress in Barcelona and left me alone a strange city in a strange place with the new job I knew no one you know back here those questions had been resurfacing and resurfacing and resurfacing and I have put them aside and put them aside many of my friends had grown up in the church were facing a crisis of faith and they raise questions and they have to be both questions after all I was a theology student but I didn't have any answers but most importantly and even my heart with that lingering question why was I not on Pan Am flight one oh three what did God want for me in this new lease on life so during those two weeks I opened the word of God I studied as I've never studied the word before there was intense it see there was a deep longing a need to know I needed to know answers to those questions that come to a point where I could no longer put off you know I want to say something here to David is extremely important it is not wrong to ask questions it is not wrong God is put in us this desire to know this curiosity this this longing to know him and if we do not ask questions if we do not wrestle with God God will not display himself in the same way that he can when we wrestle with him it's not time it's not wrong to search but my friends we live in a society today works very popular to search enter search enter search enter search and to say I am searching but in this culture it is very unpopular to ever find an answer and I would submit to you today are you yes or is in the word of God and as I study the word of God I devoured the New Testament cannot pick up a little read book that one of my friends had left with me it was entitled the great controversy last year at UIC we handed out thousands of great controversies in the community energy into attendees and I hope that some of you took time as I did this year to reread that book again I write it for the first time they are in that dorm room in Bern Switzerland at the University of Bern and I could not put it down I I I began to read it from cover to cover it was incredible because that year I had spent I had forty five thousand kilometers on my car I had traveled all over Europe Europe is not a large place but forty five thousand kilometers in one year I traveled all over Europe multiple two trips to various places I had studied less German than I was supposed to but I have traveled well I had sat in the church where John Haas preach the message of breathless Reformation in Prague I have stood in the room and where Luther translated the New Testament into the German vernacular I gazed out the window of the palace where Protestant throughout a Catholic and started the thirty years war I was reading through history that prophetically came alive for the first time in my adult life I understood that I was part of a legacy of men and women who had given up their lives for the gospel of Jesus Christ and for the living word of God I realize that I was part of a much larger conflict a cosmic conflict the conflict which centered on this planet and on the character and justice of God and friends it no longer mattered that I was being trained to be a third-generation Seventh-day Adventist minister because I realized in those weeks and months as I studied that there is no such thing as a third-generation Seventh-day Adventist minister all of us must become first-generation Seventh-day Adventist Christians not the most exciting thing was the most thrilling experience of all this is a study my questions were answered those questions those precious answers both questions and answers that came in the early hours of the morning and the late hours of the night every moment I I stopped writing like hard work I took public transportation so I could read my Bible and the spirit of prophecy on the bus every break I had the hotel I was down in the bowels of the hotel study every moment I could get I was devouring God 's word and trying to understand you know what the answers to those questions praise the Lord were the answers that I had received growing up in this great and wonderful movement the Seventh-day Adventist church but now for the first time they were not the answers of my parents it given me one of my teachers had given me or my wonderful youth pastors a given me know they were questions that had been answered by the living word of God that we had become the word of God for me they were my answers Jesus Christ became real and tangible in my life I fell in love that summer with Jesus every one of us here today needs to have that kind of experience for Jacob it was an all-night wrestling match with the Almighty for Isaiah it was the touch of coal upon his lips as he saw the Lord high and lifted up first so all it was blinding lights on the Damascus Road for me when I was twenty years of age it was Pan Am flight one oh three what will it be for you my friend today in great controversy page five ninety five and that powerful chapter where Ellen White's writes about Scripture being our only safeguard in the end times in which we live she says this but God will have a people upon the earth to maintain the Bible and the Bible only as the standard of all doctrines in the basis of all reforms we need reformation we need revival today is the Bible that will bring that in prayer and supplication the opinions of learned men the deductions of science the creeds or decisions of ecclesiastical councils has numerous and discordant as are the charges which they represent the voice of the majority not one of your all of these should be regarded as evidence for or against any point of religious faith before accepting any doctrine or precepts we should demand the plane thus saith the Lord in its support if there is no plane thus saith the Lord friends let's not go there let's be careful that night that darkening afternoon as Christ was suspended between heaven and earth on the cross his disciples had fled most of them he was all alone he felt alone my God my God what you were saying to me yet he was not alone in that darkness there was one penetrating lights that gave the Savior hope and encouragement that all is not lost on either side of him were two men hanging on crosses as well one of scorned and rejected the Savior the other one had seen how Jesus reacted on how Jesus calmly accepted the penalty of something that he did not and that man who can ask God whether he might not see him in his kingdom those three crosses represent something very important day price stands at the center he divides history ever more we still reckon history of BC and A.D. Christ is there at the center but there is only one question today one question do you accept Jesus as revealed in his Word is the way the truth and the life do you remain faithful to Scripture as he remained faithful to Scripture to fulfill all the things that instead of him so that you and I might have life there were no fifty decisions that could pay there were no graves that day in the darkness there was a simple decision will you remember me in your team will you submit Jesus Christ into his work for you today and I want you to have someone ask you if you want to be one of those men women who will stand by the Bible and the Bible only as we face the greatest crisis this person has ever faced we don't know what the future holds but it will be the greatest crisis is happening it's a ready intraday her want to be one of those people who invite you to stay and stand on the word of God that will remain around home and pray heavenly father we thank you we thank you for the living word of God we thank you for Jesus Christ the Word incarnate that came through the old God 's truth in human form he knows what we are going through the experience the temptations experience all that we experience today there is nothing that he went through nothing more that we can go through that he did not go through so today Christ name of Christ we ask that we would remain faithful faithful to the promises of humor this message was reported he was twenty fourteen call for Phoenix Arizona Key West he is supporting ministry said that just seeks spying on the Bible and assault downloadable patches and other resources like this visit us online at www. 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