Life Discovery Series

Christianity In Chaos

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Jim Reinking


Series Code: LDS

Program Code: LDS000019

00:34 And today we're dealing with this incredible
00:37 and it is absolutely incredible
00:39 the confusion that we find in the Christian world.
00:43 I told you last night and I want to repeat it tonight
00:45 there are in this world tonight, 1,200 different denominations.
00:50 And I didn't just make that up,
00:52 I've got a list of them on file.
00:54 In the United States alone there are 300
00:57 I'm talking about 1,200 worldwide which is incredible.
01:00 The confusion is that, so many of us
01:02 just in a state of the wilderment,
01:05 in a state of as I said confusion.
01:08 How in the world did the Christian church come to this?
01:11 So, you know, so fragmented.
01:14 Was this God's purpose?
01:16 Did God have a purpose in this or not?
01:20 And then again the question, how do you sort it all out?
01:26 Let me tell you the church that Jesus established
01:28 2,000 years ago was a church that was united.
01:32 And my friend, it's clear that, it was God's purpose
01:35 that the church will remain united
01:37 but that's not what happened
01:38 and that's what we're going to study tonight.
01:41 We're gonna find out impart
01:42 what happen to the church that Jesus established.
01:44 But let's get a sense of what was happening in that church
01:47 as we turned to Acts 2, the New Testament page 93.
01:52 Page 93, Acts 2 and beginning with verse 37.
01:56 I'm taking you to the Day of Pentecost
01:58 as recorded here in Acts chapter 2.
02:01 The apostles.
02:03 Jesus is resurrected, He's ascended to heaven,
02:06 the Holy Spirit, as he's promise as he ascended upon them
02:09 in the powerful and mighty way.
02:11 And on the Day of Pentecost, they are in the temple
02:14 and they are proclaiming boldly, Jesus is Lord and Savior.
02:18 Crucified? Yes.
02:19 Died? Yes.
02:20 But resurrected.
02:22 And I want you to notice how powerfully
02:24 the Holy Spirit was working on that occasion
02:27 as indicated in verse 37.
02:29 For it says, "Now when they heard this,"
02:31 the multitude that was there.
02:33 "When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart."
02:37 That means they were under deep conviction.
02:42 Pierced to the heart.
02:43 "And they said to peter and the rest of the apostles,
02:46 brethren, what shall we do?"
02:50 I like that, don't you?
02:52 You see my friend, the gospel is not pastern, it's active.
02:56 We would use the term proactive.
03:00 The gospel, when our hearts begin to understand
03:03 and comprehend the depths of God's love
03:06 involved in our salvation it demands of us a response.
03:12 And what is the answer to the question what shell we do?
03:15 Well, we find in the verse 38,
03:17 where Peter said to them, "Repent."
03:19 That's the first thing we're to do.
03:20 We're to repent.
03:22 That's the acknowledgement that we are sinners.
03:24 That we fallen short of the glory of God.
03:28 Repent.
03:29 And then the second thing and each of you be baptized
03:33 in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins
03:37 and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
03:40 So we're to repent, we are to be baptized
03:43 and the promise is we will receive
03:45 the gift of the Holy Spirit.
03:46 Again, it's not that the spirit is not been at work,
03:49 because we wouldn't be at the point of repentance
03:52 and embracing Jesus as Lord and Savior
03:54 in the waters of baptism.
03:57 But there's a special infilling of the Holy Spirit,
04:01 that's what we are to do repent
04:02 and we're to be baptize.
04:04 And now as we drop on down to verses 41 and through 43.
04:09 Notice, what was going on in the early church.
04:13 It says, "So then those who received his word."
04:17 What did they do? "They were baptized."
04:20 Those who received the word, the testimony,
04:23 the word of truth.
04:25 "They were baptized and that they--
04:27 there were added about three thousand souls.
04:30 They were continually." Notice what was happening.
04:33 They were devoting themselves to the apostles teaching
04:36 and to fellowship.
04:40 Teaching, fellowship, those are important things
04:43 in our Christian growth, right?
04:47 Teaching and fellowship, we need both.
04:50 We need the church and we need the right church,
04:55 the church that's teaching the truth.
04:58 I know there's a lot of truth out there and fragrance of truth
05:01 but you know, we want to put it together as fully as we--
05:03 We want to don't we and our love for Jesus
05:06 get as close to the truth
05:07 when it comes to matter of fellowship
05:09 as close as we possibly can.
05:11 It's not that we're exclusive,
05:13 it's not that we can't fellowship
05:14 and don't fellowship with other Christians
05:16 we're always free to do that.
05:18 So to fellowship
05:19 and they devoted themselves to eating.
05:23 Yes, when it talks about breaking bread
05:25 it's not talking about communion,
05:26 because the cup is not mentioned.
05:29 And when the cup's not mentioned
05:30 it's talking about taking a fellowship meal.
05:34 They loved eating together.
05:35 And now notice this about this church.
05:38 Every Sabbath after the service
05:40 there is a meal over there in the fellowship hall.
05:44 And for the more they devoted themselves to prayer.
05:47 All good, wonderful things that will help us
05:50 in our spiritual growth, right?
05:53 Verse 43, says, "Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe,
05:56 and many wonders and signs were taking place
05:58 among the apostles."
06:00 I mean, that was what was going on in the early church.
06:03 But take a look at Jude 3, the New Testament page 188.
06:08 188, this is a one chapter book by the Book of Revelation
06:13 just as assuredly it is inspired as any of the books
06:18 of the New Testament or the Old Testament of the Bible.
06:22 And notice what we find a prophecy embedded here
06:26 about what would happen to this church
06:29 that Jesus established.
06:30 We're indeed going to be looking at four prophecies
06:32 in the New Testament
06:34 that indicated what would happen to the church.
06:39 That will set the church up for--
06:41 it eventually is division and its fragmentation.
06:47 And so here we are Jude
06:49 and we're looking at verses 3 and 4.
06:52 "Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you
06:55 about our common salvation,
06:57 I felt the necessity to write to you
06:59 appealing that you contend earnestly
07:03 for the faith which was once for--" a few,
07:07 for some, the faith which was once for Adventists.
07:16 No, no, no, it's not there, is it?
07:17 No.
07:18 It says, "The faith which was once for all
07:23 handed down to the saints."
07:25 To all of God's people.
07:28 You know, there are certain aspects of the message
07:30 that as Adventist, certainly we--you know,
07:32 we're preaching and teaching because in the word of God,
07:35 things like the Sabbath.
07:36 Of course, we would.
07:38 Because, you know, we really do believe in the book
07:41 and preaching all of it.
07:44 You know, that's-- I have to say this
07:46 that's one of the marvelous things
07:48 about being a minister in the Adventist church,
07:52 because there's a lot of content,
07:55 there's a lot of biblicalness in the message.
07:58 And I believe God is entrusted to us,
08:00 but it's up for all peoples.
08:02 I love being a preacher in this church.
08:05 I never have to see, am I allowed to preach this?
08:09 Am I allowed to preach from that text?
08:11 I wonder let me just check over here
08:13 and see if it's all right.
08:15 I never have to do that.
08:16 I feel absolute freedom to preach anything
08:19 that is in God's word.
08:21 And that's the way it should be.
08:23 Amen. Right?
08:25 So we should-- you know, contain earnestly
08:27 for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.
08:31 Now for some of us, what we've been sharing at times
08:35 is something new.
08:36 But let me tell you, though it maybe new to us,
08:39 as I mentioned ago, a moment ago like the Sabbath,
08:43 though maybe new to us
08:44 my friend, it is a part of that body of truth,
08:48 that body of faith that God has given us
08:51 from the very beginnings
08:52 and I'm talking of the Christian church now.
08:55 It's always been there.
08:56 We just have been ignorant of it.
08:59 And it's because we haven't had a chance to study,
09:01 but notice verse 4.
09:03 It says, "For certain persons have crept in unnoticed."
09:06 Crept in where? That is into the church.
09:09 "Crept in unnoticed.
09:10 Those who were long before hand marked out
09:13 for this condemnation, ungodly persons
09:16 who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness
09:19 and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ."
09:23 And the relevant term here is these individuals,
09:26 ungodly individuals.
09:29 The relevant term is here-- is they crept into the church.
09:34 They kind of snuck into the church door
09:38 and they just fermented.
09:42 And my friend, it is prophecy that indicated a change
09:46 as a result would take place in the church
09:48 that Jesus had established.
09:50 But we are-- clearly here we are to content earnestly
09:54 for that primitive truth,
09:57 that primitiveness as God has given to us as His people.
10:01 But let me take you onto another prophecy
10:04 in the New Testament which found in Acts 20:28.
10:09 And Paul is speaking now. He's in conversation
10:12 with the leadership of the church in Ephesus.
10:15 The elders of Ephesus.
10:17 When he says, "Take heed therefore unto yourselves,
10:20 and to all the flock to feed the church of God."
10:25 Notice first of all, he says, "Take heed to yourself."
10:29 And my friend, if anybody is in spiritual leadership,
10:33 they better heed that council.
10:36 Less self interject itself into the ministry
10:40 or into the leadership of the church.
10:43 And my friend, whenever self is interjecting yourself
10:46 into a spiritual process it creates problems, right?
10:52 It absolutely create problems.
10:56 And I have been clear about this
10:57 for a very long time in my thinking.
10:59 I never want my ministry and my teaching
11:03 and while I'm teaching I never wanted to be an issue about me.
11:08 Because if it becomes the issue about me
11:11 then somehow we've gotten off track.
11:15 Because it's not about me, it is about Him.
11:20 How many problems that we had in the church
11:22 when it becomes an issue about me?
11:27 Pride, yeah, lots of problems.
11:29 And to me that's one of the challenges
11:32 of the mega church phenomena,
11:33 because it's all personality centered
11:35 and so personality driven.
11:38 And the only personality I want to see driving
11:41 the process in the church
11:42 is a personality of Jesus Christ.
11:45 And it says, "And to feed the church of God."
11:48 What is that we ought to be feeding the church of God?
11:51 Manmade traditions,
11:53 the teachings of church councils,
11:56 fine sounding philosophizing.
12:01 What is that, that we really want?
12:05 What are we to feed the church of God?
12:06 It's right here, my friend. It is the word of God.
12:10 And this ought to be the focal point.
12:13 This ought to be the foundation
12:15 of the teaching and the preaching
12:18 that is going on within the church.
12:21 My friend this is what the power is, it's right here.
12:24 When the Holy Spirit is at work
12:25 and when hearts are soften
12:27 in the love of Jesus to receive the truth.
12:32 And my friend, apart from all of that,
12:34 we're just-- we could be playing games as a people,
12:38 playing games as a church.
12:41 And you know what?
12:42 I'm not interested in playing games.
12:45 I'm not interested in that, are you?
12:47 No.
12:49 I-- I really-- I really-- This is vital to me.
12:53 This is vital in my own personal faith.
12:55 I want something that's real. I want something that's genuine.
12:58 I want something that's spiritual.
12:59 I want something that's quiet centered
13:00 and I want something that's biblical.
13:05 All of those things are important to me.
13:07 And I don't feel like, I have been fed
13:10 on those occasions that I'm allowed to sit
13:12 where you are sitting.
13:13 I don't feel fed unless those things are present
13:17 to feed the church of God.
13:19 He goes on to say, "For I know this,
13:21 that after my departing."
13:23 Paul speaking here again "after my departing
13:25 shall grievous wolves enter in among you
13:30 not sparing the flock."
13:33 Not sparing the church.
13:35 He says further, "Also of your own selves,"
13:38 speaking of the spiritual leadership of the church.
13:40 "Of your own selves shall men arise,
13:42 speaking perverse things."
13:44 Speaking what? Not the truth.
13:47 But speaking perverse things. And for what purpose?
13:52 "To draw away the disciples after them."
13:56 It's--you know, it's really about me.
13:58 You know this thing could be really subtle.
14:02 It can be really subtle.
14:03 And often times it could be even more than that, can't it?
14:09 But my friend, it is not-- it's not about
14:11 drawing disciples to any one individual
14:15 apart form Jesus, but it predicted.
14:19 Again, they would arise speaking perverse things
14:23 in the leadership of the church.
14:24 We're gonna trace this in just a few moments
14:26 historically exactly how that happen.
14:28 That is a warning against spiritual leadership.
14:31 And my friend, listen, must be honest about this.
14:35 Those of us who are in ministry, you know,
14:38 I do want people to respect the office.
14:41 But my friend, we are human beings.
14:45 We are fallible human beings.
14:48 Sometimes we have our foibles.
14:50 And sometimes we have our failures.
14:53 And we have our own challenges
14:55 let me tell you as a ministry.
14:57 And we are human, believe it or not, we are human.
15:01 And sometimes, we make mistakes and we have weaknesses.
15:07 And we too have to get out on our knees
15:09 at the end of the day, often to confess that we fallen short.
15:14 Don't you ever forget that?
15:15 Don't you ever put those of us,
15:17 who are in ministry on pedestal?
15:19 Don't do that.
15:24 Didn't get one amen out of that
15:26 and I thought that was such a good point,
15:28 because I believe it.
15:31 It's becomes problematic when we do that.
15:34 It becomes problematic for those who are doing that
15:36 and becomes problematic for those of us who are in ministry.
15:40 Don't put us on a pedestal.
15:43 I take you to another prophecy
15:44 as we find it in II Timothy 4:3, 4.
15:48 Where Paul says, "For the time will come,"
15:50 speaking of the people of God now.
15:52 "For the time will come when they will not endure
15:54 sound doctrine" or sound teaching,
15:57 "but wanting to have their ears tickled,
15:59 they will accumulate for themselves,
16:01 teachers in accordance to their own desire,
16:05 and will turn away their ears from the truth,
16:08 and will turn aside to myths."
16:12 And my friend, whenever we turned away from the truth
16:15 that's exactly what we have left myths.
16:18 Man-made ideas, practices and traditions
16:24 and that's exactly what happens to the church
16:26 that Jesus established.
16:27 We have one more prophecy in the New Testament,
16:29 II Thessalonians Chapter 2.
16:31 The New Testament page 162, 162.
16:36 II Thessalonians 2:3.
16:40 Remember this one, Paul again is the writer
16:43 who is writing to the believers in Thessalonica
16:47 and this is what he tells them.
16:48 II Thessalonians 2:3.
16:51 He says, "Let no one," no one "in any way deceive you,
16:54 for it will not come."
16:56 Speaking of the coming of Jesus.
16:58 "It will not come, unless the apostasy come first."
17:03 And remember we've talked about this apostasy.
17:05 What is apostasy?
17:07 Literally, it means falling away,
17:10 spiritually falling away, away from God,
17:15 away from faithfulness to Jesus, falling away from the truth.
17:21 Again, it is not talking about the wicked, the ungodly.
17:25 They can't fall away, because they never were
17:29 in a right relationship to fall away from in the first place.
17:34 So it predicts that apostasy would grip the church
17:39 that Jesus established.
17:41 And then it goes on to say, "And the man of lawlessness
17:43 is revealed, the son of destruction,
17:45 who opposes and exalt himself above every so called God,
17:48 or object of worshipped,
17:49 so that he takes his sit in the temple of God,
17:52 displaying himself as being God."
17:53 And clearly that is speaking of the antichrist.
17:57 And that makes a definite and a cleared link
18:00 between the fall of the church, the apostasy of the church
18:04 and the emergence of the antichrist.
18:08 That was the end result of what happened
18:10 to the church that Jesus established.
18:12 As we now looked at these four prophecies
18:15 as they turn away from sound doctrine,
18:17 from sound teaching, as men begin to arise
18:20 speaking perverse things to draw away disciples after themselves.
18:24 The end product of it was that it brought forth
18:28 the antichrist, that church that Jesus established.
18:33 Absolutely astounding, when you consider it
18:36 and notice down in verse 7 Paul says,
18:39 "For the mystery of lawlessness."
18:42 And my friend this is at the heart of the apostasy,
18:44 it does relate to this matter of the law,
18:46 the commandments of God.
18:48 When he says then, "For the mystery of lawlessness
18:52 is already at work in the church."
18:58 Already at the work in the church in Jesus,
19:01 in the time of the apostles.
19:03 It is astounding how early this process began
19:07 in the Christian church.
19:09 And we can trace it historically as we will do so.
19:15 I take it to Magsburg Centuries.
19:18 It's written by Jena in 1560, page 2,
19:22 where this historical observation is made.
19:25 It says, "The apostles had hardly died
19:27 ere the spirit of deception
19:29 thought it could easily break into the churches.
19:32 It may be conceived that in this second century
19:35 originate nearly all the heresies
19:37 which afterward raged in the church."
19:41 How early second century already,
19:45 heresies, false teachings?
19:48 And how could that happened?
19:50 Because my friend there was a process taking place
19:53 that was leading the people of God
19:54 away from the centrality of the word of God.
19:59 And my friend, that is why it is absolutely necessary
20:04 that the church keep the focal point
20:06 upon the Revelation that has been given us
20:09 by God in His love and mercy.
20:11 The Revelation that we have, the privilege of studying
20:14 from God's word, it is foundational.
20:19 And anything else that has put in His place
20:22 as a substitute is a poor substitute.
20:27 Oh, yeah.
20:29 Truth is foundational. Yeah.
20:34 Reminds me of the parable of Jesus told
20:35 that the two builders.
20:38 One building their house upon the rock
20:40 and the other building their house upon the sand.
20:43 And Jesus said the storm-- there's storm coming.
20:46 Jesus said in the parable, there's a storm coming,
20:48 there's a storm coming.
20:50 And when the storm came, you know,
20:53 the house build on the sand felt flat,
20:56 but the house that was built upon the rock
20:58 stood firm in that foundation.
21:02 And we must have foundations.
21:04 And do you remember what Jesus said is the rock.
21:07 They'll say that is Jesus, because that's not what He said.
21:10 It is his saints.
21:14 The one who keeps my saints, Jesus said is the one
21:17 that builds his house on the rock.
21:19 Look at it, that's what it says.
21:22 And so that-- when we talk about building up the church,
21:25 truth is pretty vital in it
21:28 and it is certainly relevant to our relationship.
21:31 In the Book Ancient Church pages 6 and 7, it says,
21:34 "In the interval between the days of the apostles
21:37 and the conversion of Constantine"
21:38 which was in the 4th century.
21:41 "Rites and ceremonies, of which, Paul nor Peter
21:45 ever heard, crept silently into use."
21:48 Notice how insidious this process was?
21:52 It wasn't blatant.
21:53 It wasn't in your face, kind of a process.
21:56 It was happening kind of quietly.
21:59 And you know, when you look at the phenomena of cults
22:02 that is often how the cultic or cultic experiences
22:06 often develop, gradually like the Jim Jones experience,
22:11 he was very gradual.
22:12 You hear the testimony of some of the members
22:15 of the people's temple there in San Francisco it was gradual.
22:20 It was gradual.
22:22 And I remember one of the members talking about,
22:23 it was only, if you look back over time
22:26 that you realize how far and time one had really come
22:30 under the influence of Jim Jones.
22:33 So it was gradual. It was gradual.
22:36 Yeah.
22:37 "So they crept silently into use,
22:39 rites and ceremonies, practices."
22:43 And Constantine had the tremendous effect
22:45 upon the church in the 4th century AD.
22:48 He had himself declared the foremost of all of apostles.
22:54 Constantine, after his death was declared
22:57 to be one of the saints of the church.
23:00 Constantine.
23:02 Constantine was the one who called forth
23:04 the church counsels in his day.
23:07 Constantine was the one who set the agendas.
23:10 Constantine is the one who often put the decisions
23:15 of the church councils into imperial decree.
23:21 Constantine not only had tremendous influence
23:25 upon the church but shares a tremendous responsibility
23:28 to what the church became particularly
23:31 during the medieval period of time.
23:34 Constantine.
23:35 It was Constantine that first time ordered
23:38 to proclaim himself a Christian.
23:40 And it was Constantine who in 313 AD
23:44 declared his empire a Christian empire.
23:49 Oh, you would think that, that would have been
23:51 a wonderful and great thing for the church.
23:55 But the problem was, you see, it became the popular thing
23:59 to do to become a Christian,
24:00 because even the emperor himself proclaimed
24:04 to be a Christian and politically
24:06 if you wanted to get a head, you know,
24:11 wouldn't hurt, you know, that take that name, you know.
24:17 Declare yourself to be a Christian,
24:20 of course in the political process in our own day
24:22 and age and our country
24:24 that certainly wouldn't happen, you know.
24:28 Would it?
24:30 Our politicians weren't stupid that, 313 AD,
24:34 declared his empire to be a Christian empire.
24:37 And that what you thought would have furthered
24:39 the prosperity of the church have the very opposite effect,
24:42 because people were embracing the faith not of a conviction
24:45 not because they were converted,
24:47 not because they have accepted Jesus Christ,
24:49 but it can because it was
24:51 the popular convenient thing to do.
24:54 And he further the process of the apostasy
24:57 the downfall of the church as we see indicated here
24:59 from Wharey's Church History page 54.
25:03 "Christianity had now become popular,
25:05 and a large proportion, perhaps a large majority
25:09 of those who embraced it, only assumed the name.
25:14 They are as much heathen," it says, further on,
25:17 "as they were before."
25:19 They haven't been transformed to the love and grace of Jesus.
25:23 They still were pagans at heart is what its saying.
25:26 "Error and corruption now came
25:28 in upon the church like a flood."
25:32 In the spirit of time.
25:33 And in the Centuries of Christianity,
25:35 A Concise History, Page 58, it adds,
25:38 "The new Christians were, as far as thinking
25:41 and habits went, the same old pagans.
25:44 Their surge into the churches did not wipe out paganism.
25:47 On the contrary, hordes of baptized pagans
25:51 meant that paganism had diluted the moral energies
25:55 of organized Christianity to the point of impotence."
26:00 And my friend, that's exactly what happened.
26:03 Just as Paul said in II Thessalonians 2,
26:07 apostasy that take place in the church
26:11 that Jesus had established, troubling to be sure,
26:15 but that's exactly what happened.
26:18 And paganism coming in,
26:20 accommodation with pagan teaching
26:23 and pagan practices took place in the word compromise
26:29 that's what was taking place.
26:30 We have another word theologically for this
26:33 we called it syncretism.
26:35 That is the combination of Christian teaching
26:37 and practice to pagan teachings and practices.
26:43 And that's exactly what happened during this time of apostasy.
26:46 Illustrated by this, this is from a quote from the History
26:49 of the Eastern Church, page 184.
26:51 It's talking about Constantine's coins,
26:53 which is an illustration
26:55 of what I'm sharing with you at this point.
26:57 It says, "His (Constantine's) coins bore on the one side
27:01 the letters of the name of Christ, " Christos,"
27:04 and on the other, the figure of the sun-god
27:07 as if he could not dare to re-linguish
27:10 the patron-age of the bright luminary."
27:13 So you see the syncretism that was going on,
27:15 the assimilation of paganism and Christianity.
27:18 On one side where the word for Christ
27:23 and on the other was the symbol of the sun-god.
27:27 In fact as they have excavated under Saint Peters
27:30 guess what they have found underground,
27:33 I believe it's under the main alter in Saint Peters.
27:36 They found a statue of Jesus
27:39 riding in the distinctive characteristics
27:42 of the chariot of the sun-god.
27:46 Amen.
27:48 And simulation was taking place on paganism.
27:53 And this is from the Development of Christian Doctrine Page 372.
27:57 It says "We are told by Eusebius."
27:59 Eusebius was a bishop that was very closely
28:01 with Constantine in that period of time.
28:04 "We are told by Eusebius, that Constantine,
28:06 in order to recommend the new religion to the heathen,
28:10 transferred into it the Christian faith,
28:13 the outward ornaments."
28:16 Interesting language, isn't it?
28:17 "Ornaments to which they had been accustomed in their own."
28:21 It's a simulation of paganism into Christianity,
28:26 troubling but that's exactly what happened.
28:28 And it was during this time of apostasy
28:32 that the Sabbath was changed from Saturday to Sunday
28:38 that is the day of the sun-god.
28:43 Yes, it was in this context that this is happened.
28:46 And it's been transmitted down through the centuries
28:49 through the various churches to our own day.
28:52 Interesting how old and how really pagan
28:56 this whole thing of Sunday really is and its origins.
29:00 And after it was at the council of Nicaea 321 AD
29:06 it was at that point that we have the Edict of Constantine
29:11 in which he declared, "On the venerable Day of the Sun
29:14 let the magistrates and people residing in the cities rest,
29:19 and let all workshops be closed."
29:21 The first Sunday closing blue law,
29:24 we would call it, isn't it?
29:27 It was initiated by Constantine as he made it an edict.
29:31 But one other statement about this matter,
29:33 the change of the Sabbath and the incorporation
29:37 and the assimilation of the pagan day of the sun.
29:43 This is from the History of the Eastern Church again page 184.
29:47 "The retention of the old pagan name 'Dies Solos,'
29:50 or Sunday is, in great measure, owing to the union of pagan
29:55 and Christian sentiment by which the first day of the week
29:58 was recommended by Constantine to his subjects,
30:00 pagan and Christian alike,
30:02 as the 'Venerable Day of the Sun.'"
30:05 Let see there was a lot--
30:07 there was a lot of politics involved in this whole matter.
30:11 This whole thing of the simulation
30:13 on paganism and Christianity under the reign of Constantine.
30:18 A lot of politics was going on,
30:20 it was Constantine that had reunited
30:24 the various parts of the Roman Empire,
30:26 reunited, and united it.
30:29 And he had a tremendous political pressure
30:32 of trying to find a mechanism
30:34 that would help him to keep the empire united.
30:39 And he fell upon this genius of an idea
30:43 that he could use the vitality
30:47 and the parent spiritual power
30:49 that was present among Christians
30:51 in the church for a political purpose.
30:55 He thought to bring them into harmony together
30:59 on this issue of the Christian faith.
31:04 This is from The Papacy page 12 where it says,
31:07 "There is palpably present in Popery the polytheism
31:10 of ancient Rome in the gods and goddesses
31:13 which under the title of saints,
31:15 fill up the calendar
31:16 and crowd the temple of the Romish Church."
31:19 I don't like some of this terminology,
31:20 but that's what it says here.
31:22 "Here then, all the old idolatries live over again.
31:25 There is nothing new about them but the organization."
31:29 As people were fighting into the church
31:32 they had a simple-- it was a systemic problem
31:36 where would they're gonna house them
31:38 and here where all of these temples.
31:41 This was familiar ground.
31:42 And so they took over many of these temples
31:45 and they made them into Christian churches.
31:49 In fact, what you're seeing here is the pantheon.
31:52 The pantheon devoted to the gods of Rome.
31:58 And the pantheon was in 609 AD
32:02 dedicated and made a catholic church.
32:07 They give you some idea of what was going on.
32:09 And when they went into these temples
32:11 again it was familiar ground,
32:12 there were all these beautiful statues that were present.
32:15 And who wanted to get rid of these beautiful statues
32:19 in these now churches.
32:21 And so they just decided, there's a little bit simplcity,
32:24 but they sprinkle a little holy water here
32:26 and they consecrated this went to Paul
32:28 and they consecrated this went Peter
32:30 and the rest of the apostles
32:32 and then they began to working on the saints.
32:35 That's how images came into the Christian church.
32:41 That's exactly how they came in.
32:43 And by 377 AD, it was fairly well established in the church,
32:49 the use of images, adoration images,
32:53 burning candles before them, praying before them, okay.
33:00 This is what happened to the church again
33:02 that Jesus established.
33:03 And then there was an introduction an introduction
33:07 an introduction of the priesthood.
33:11 They came, you know,
33:12 a few centuries after the founding of Jesus Christ
33:16 and certainly by the 13th century,
33:20 not only was the priesthood well established,
33:23 more than well established, but with it the confessional
33:26 was established within the church.
33:31 And I could share a little bit with you where that came from.
33:33 I think I did that one night with you.
33:36 And so we have the intercessory function of the priest
33:39 that supplanted the intercessory function of Jesus.
33:43 And this is what it says
33:44 from the Missionary Review of the World,
33:46 "Few of us have ever grasped the full significance
33:48 of sacerdotalism as a papal device.
33:51 It puts the priest between the soul and all else,
33:53 even God, at every stage of development."
33:57 And that's exactly what it does.
33:59 But remember it says in 1 Timothy 2:5,
34:02 "For there is one God, and one mediator also
34:05 between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
34:09 We have direct access to God through Jesus.
34:11 But we have a system,
34:13 we have the intercession of the priest.
34:16 Then you have the intercession of the saints.
34:19 Then you have the intercession of Mary.
34:22 And then if you kind of work through
34:24 quite a system to reach God.
34:29 This is true in orthodoxy as well.
34:32 When I was in Romania in the ancient capital of Iasi.
34:37 And King Stephen, the best known
34:39 of all of the kings of Romania for he who's the one
34:42 to stop the incursion of the Ottoman Turkish Empire
34:47 in a epic battle that took place about an hours drive
34:53 from the city of Iasi.
34:56 He has chapel.
34:58 King Stephen Chapel Stile was there
35:01 and was fascinating to go into this chapel.
35:03 This orthodox chapel.
35:04 And you saw painted all over the walls.
35:07 You had Patriarchs,
35:09 well known men of faith within the orthodox system
35:14 and then you would have another layer of saints.
35:19 And I thought man, this really--
35:20 I couldn't get a good picture of it.
35:23 I would have loved to get a picture that would--
35:25 that you could clearly see this.
35:27 It was just pretty-- pretty big.
35:30 And then over main altar way up there in the dome
35:35 was Jesus looking down, looking down.
35:39 And I thought, here's one layer after another,
35:41 if you worked up high enough,
35:42 there He is, there He is way up there.
35:45 That's what the system did, interjected all these layers
35:50 between the individual and Christ.
35:54 And then even the position of Mary
35:58 under this apostasy went through an alteration.
36:01 This is from the book Glories. The Glories of Mary, page 67.
36:05 It says, "God will not save us
36:07 without the intercession of Mary.
36:09 He has placed the whole price of redemption
36:11 in the hands of Mary that she may dispense it at will."
36:15 And in fact the church, the Church of Rome
36:18 just within recent years has declared Mary
36:23 as a co- redemptorist of Christ.
36:28 A co- redemptorist of Christ.
36:30 Even arise by which one was initiated into the faith,
36:34 you know, went through alteration.
36:36 Even the practice of communion
36:39 was altered during this period of time.
36:41 Communion, the cup and the bread
36:43 which we understand to be symbolic
36:47 became an actuality at the consecration
36:50 of it by the priest, the blood and the body of Jesus.
36:55 This is from the Catechism of the Council of Trent.
36:57 It says, "The sacrifice of the mass
36:59 is and ought to be considered
37:02 one and the same as that of the cross,
37:05 and the victim is one and the same,
37:08 namely Christ our Lord."
37:11 Now those of us from a protestant background
37:13 this is kind of strange to our thinking.
37:15 Because we think of it as symbolism, don't we?
37:18 But in the thinking of the church,
37:20 it becomes actually, the blood becomes
37:22 the actual book of body of Jesus
37:24 and those are re-sacrificing
37:26 that takes place within the mass.
37:30 The Roman 6:10 says, "For the death that He died,
37:33 He died to sin, once for all."
37:36 Once, no need of re-sacrificing.
37:40 And then even views of the after life
37:43 went through an alteration.
37:45 And it was absorption of pagan teaching.
37:48 I'm talking about purgatory.
37:49 Now listen from Faith of Our Fathers where it says,
37:52 "There exists in the next life
37:54 a middle state of temporary punishment,
37:56 allotted for those who have not satisfied the justice of God
38:00 for sins already forgiven."
38:04 Are you catching this?
38:05 Oh, yes, you've been forgiven of your sins,
38:08 but when you die
38:10 you're gonna have to spent a little bit of time
38:12 suffering in purgatory to satisfy the justice
38:16 required of God for your sins forgiven
38:21 but you got to suffer a little bit.
38:23 It's that--It's that what the Bible teaches.
38:28 Oh, my friend, there is sufferings
38:29 of only one that will satisfy,
38:32 it is the sufferings of Jesus that satisfies.
38:35 Our sufferings will atone for nothing.
38:38 The bible does not teach purgatory.
38:40 It is a pagan teaching that is what we find.
38:44 And as I said a moment ago
38:46 even the rise of baptisms were altered
38:48 that the Council of Mela 416 AD it began
38:53 the practice of sprinkling was practice by the church.
38:57 And then the baptizing of babies,
38:59 all began to become the establish practice.
39:04 It was a departure from the clear teachings
39:06 of the world of God.
39:07 In fact, in this process of apostasy,
39:09 the church went so far down the road of apostasy
39:12 that departing from the truth that in the year 1299,
39:18 the Bible was banned, 1299.
39:24 How could the church get away with it?
39:27 I'll tell you exactly how they got away with it.
39:30 Because they said, how can the holy writings
39:34 of the scripture be entrusted
39:36 in the hands of the common people
39:38 who are largely uneducated, given over to superstition.
39:43 Of course that can be.
39:46 And so the people were taught
39:48 if you want to know what you have to believe
39:50 and what you are to practice, go to your priest.
39:53 He's been educated. He's been trained.
39:55 He's been to seminary.
39:56 He has been consecrated for this purpose,
40:00 that's how they got away with it.
40:02 Of course that couldn't get-- that couldn't happen today,
40:05 not in this modern era, could it?
40:08 Or could it?
40:10 You get somebody that seems well educated, well spoken.
40:15 And my friend, it's so easy to sit back and say,
40:17 "Well, he sounds articulate."
40:19 It must be true.
40:21 He's got an education.
40:23 It sounds-- it sounds reasonable.
40:26 But my friend, don't ever get into that at all.
40:30 Check it out.
40:32 All right, those normal bereans,
40:34 who checked out the apostle Paul and they checked it out,
40:37 because they study the scriptures daily
40:39 to find out whether those things were so.
40:43 In Matthew 15:9, Jesus said,
40:47 other religious leaders of his day.
40:49 "And in they worship Me, teaching as doctrines
40:52 the commandments of men."
40:55 And my friend, that's what the truth I come to, okay.
40:59 In Daniel 8:12, prophetically talking about this process
41:03 and the development of the antichrist.
41:05 It said, "And it will fling truth to the ground
41:07 and perform its will and prosper."
41:10 It will fling truth to the ground.
41:12 There was--I mean the church that Jesus has established
41:15 was in and awful state.
41:18 And so what was God going to do.
41:20 Well, take a look at a prophecy in Isaiah 58,
41:23 the Old Testament page 528.
41:26 528, Isaiah 58 and we're gonna look specifically at verse 12.
41:32 And this will have a ring.
41:33 This will remind you of the statement of Paul
41:36 as we saw it in the Book of Acts
41:38 where he's speaking to the elders
41:41 of the church in Ephesus.
41:43 Where he's warning them that from among your own selves,
41:46 your own selves shall individuals arise
41:50 speaking perverse things.
41:52 So notice here, Isaiah 58:12 where it says,
41:58 "Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins.
42:04 You will raise up the age-old foundations,
42:06 and you will be called the repairer of the breach,
42:08 the restorer of the streets in which to dwell."
42:11 What is this talking about urban renewal in the end time?
42:15 No.
42:16 But it talks about the-- rebuilding the ancient ruins.
42:19 It's talking about rebuilding the ancient ruins of faith.
42:23 It talks about raising up the age-old foundations,
42:25 its speaking of raising up the old foundations of truth.
42:29 Where It talks about you will be called
42:31 the repairer of the breach.
42:35 It's talking about the breach that was made in the law of God.
42:39 That's what it's talking about.
42:42 My friend, it was predicting
42:44 what we know historically as the reformation.
42:47 There was an attempt--
42:51 There was an attempt to reform the church
42:56 and reform it in light of what the Bibletaught.
42:59 This is where the reformation comes in.
43:01 Now don't forget what our subject is,
43:03 because this is all relevant.
43:05 And one reformer after another,
43:07 we think primarily Martin Luther there in Germany
43:10 and he certainly was
43:11 in the forefront of the reformation,
43:12 but he certainly was the only one.
43:15 Mark Luther in Germany, in Scotland we had John Knox
43:19 and we can go through quite of list.
43:21 And I will take you to a little bit of list.
43:23 In England there was John and Charles Wesley.
43:26 And in France and in Switzerland, John Calvin
43:30 and from these movements, from these attempts
43:33 that we formed a church
43:34 and the church would not be reformed.
43:37 Eventually developed what we called
43:40 the mainline protestant churches.
43:44 From Martin Luther, we have the Lutherans.
43:48 And they began to cluster around these leading individuals,
43:53 these instruments of reformation.
43:56 And in the end time they began to collapse
43:58 and in the end my friend, it met a fragmentation
44:02 began to take place in the church.
44:05 This was never God's intension, but it happened.
44:08 Now fragmentation of the church developed all of this.
44:11 And the followers of these different individuals
44:15 as churches were formed came to the point where they were,
44:19 you know, the cluster around certain points and truths
44:22 and then it began to solidify
44:24 but they were not willing to advance any further.
44:28 And they left the church again
44:30 in the state of divisiveness and confusion.
44:33 Notice this from the History of the Puritans
44:35 Volume 1 page 269.
44:38 It's an observation what happened
44:39 to the reformation churches.
44:41 It says, "I cannot sufficiently bewail
44:44 the condition of the reformed churches
44:46 who will go at present no farther
44:48 than the instruments of their reformation.
44:51 The Lutherans cannot be drawn to go beyond what Luther saw
44:54 the Calvinists, you see,
44:55 stick fast where they were left by that great man of God,
44:58 who saw yet not all things.
45:01 Though they were burning and shining lights in their time,
45:04 yet they penetrated not into the whole council of God,
45:08 but were they now living would be as willing to embrace
45:11 further light as that which they first received."
45:15 And my friend they came to the point
45:16 where they weren't willing to move forward
45:19 in the process of reformation.
45:21 They began to say things like,
45:22 "Well, Martin Luther didn't teach that,
45:24 we're not gonna accept it.
45:26 John Calvin didn't teach it that way."
45:29 And my friend, that really if you think about it
45:32 is the state of the church today, the churches today.
45:36 I'm an Adventist.
45:38 You know, I'm not willing.
45:39 I'm a Methodist or I'm a Baptist or I'm a Pentecostal.
45:45 And it impedes the willingness
45:48 to progress in matters of faith.
45:51 The churches have become an obstacle and you know that.
45:56 The churches had actually become an obstacle.
45:59 That's not what my church teaches,
46:03 that's the problem with the denominationalism.
46:07 I just say, even though I know
46:09 Gods people scattered throughout the various denominations,
46:11 I do not at heart believe in denominationalism.
46:16 I do not believe in the fragmentation
46:18 of the Christian church.
46:21 I don't believe in it, I don't accept it,
46:23 because the Bible says God is not the author of confusion
46:27 1Corinthians 14, "He is not the author of confusion."
46:30 But that's exactly what we're finding in the Christian world.
46:33 We're not all speak in the same language.
46:35 We're not all speak in the same tongue.
46:38 So what has happened?
46:40 Let me take you to Malachi 4:5, the Old Testament page 678.
46:46 So we find the church fragmented as a result.
46:50 And my friend the purpose of the reformation
46:52 has not reached its conclusion.
46:56 This is my last prophecy, I'm gonna share with you tonight.
46:59 And in it we find an answer to the problem.
47:02 In Malachi 4:5, it says, "Behold."
47:05 God is speaking, "Behold,
47:06 I am going to send you Elijah the prophet
47:09 before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord."
47:12 That is a reference to the coming
47:14 of our Lord Jesus Christ.
47:15 "I'm gonna send you the prophet Elijah."
47:20 Literally or symbolic?
47:21 That's the question, one of the questions
47:23 that we want to settle.
47:24 And it's interesting that the Jews of Jesus day
47:27 were certainly acquainted with this prophecy
47:29 and it came up in a discussion
47:32 that the disciples have with Jesus.
47:34 And would you like to know how Jesus handles this matter
47:36 of this prophecy and what it meant?
47:39 Well, whether you wanted or not, you're gonna get it.
47:41 And it's Mathew 17:10.
47:44 And you'll discover as Jesus addresses this issue
47:47 He makes it dual application of this prophecy.
47:51 You see, He'll make a future,
47:54 a future application of the prophecy
47:56 and then He makes a past application.
47:58 Here it is, "And His disciples asked Him saying,
48:00 'Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?'
48:04 And He answered and said, 'Elijah is coming.'"
48:08 Future tense. And what will he do?
48:12 "And will restore all things."
48:16 Remember, the age-old foundations
48:19 would be restored of truth.
48:21 "He will restore all things."
48:23 Then He goes on to say,
48:24 "But I say to you, that Elijah already came."
48:27 That's past tense.
48:29 "And they did not recognize him,
48:30 but did to him whatever they wished.
48:32 So also the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands."
48:36 And so what He was talking about?
48:38 Well, the disciples picked up on this as we see.
48:41 It says, "Then the disciples understood
48:43 that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist."
48:46 It was not talking in literal terms
48:49 that somehow Elijah will return
48:51 to this earth to pick up His ministry, no.
48:55 It's talking that it work
48:57 similar to that which the prophet Elijah did
48:59 among his people would take place
49:01 and John the Baptist was a partial fulfillment of this.
49:04 John the Baptist, remember the setting,
49:07 again what was the condition of God's people.
49:11 They were in a state of apostasy.
49:14 They ended up involved in this conspiracy
49:17 to eliminate the Messiah.
49:21 A perceived, a perceive threat
49:24 to their position and to their authority.
49:27 And so who is John the Baptist ministry to?
49:32 He wasn't sent to ungodly to the,
49:34 you know, to the heathen.
49:36 He was sent to the people of God.
49:37 And what was his message to the people of God in a word?
49:41 The message was one of repent and be baptized, right?
49:46 Okay, that's clear.
49:47 Now we'll see how this applies in the end time.
49:50 In Luke 1:17, it says, "And it is he" speaking of Elijah
49:54 "who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit
49:58 and the power of Elijah,
50:01 to turn the hearts of the fathers
50:02 back to the children, and the disobedient
50:05 to the attitude of the righteous,
50:06 so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord."
50:11 So one of the functions of John the Baptist in the spirit
50:15 and the power of Elijah was to prepare a people
50:18 for the coming of Jesus.
50:20 And when Jesus talked about a future application
50:23 in which all things will be restored.
50:27 My friend, we see a parallel
50:30 that it will come to prepare a people
50:32 for the coming of our Lord,
50:35 His second coming is what we're talking about.
50:38 Now let's pick up a little bit more of what was going on
50:40 with the prophet Elijah back in 1 Kings 18.
50:42 I just have two or three more texts.
50:45 So let's take a look at them.
50:46 1 Kings 18, this will make it relevant
50:50 to some of the issues we've been looking at.
50:54 1 Kings 18, after three and half years of drought,
50:59 there's a meeting between Elijah and Ahab
51:03 out there in the wilderness.
51:04 Ahab's looking for water.
51:05 They're so desperate for water.
51:07 And notice this change that takes place between them.
51:09 It says, "When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him,
51:12 'Is this you, you troubler of Israel?'
51:16 And he said, 'I have not troubled Israel,
51:18 but you and your father's house have,
51:20 because you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord
51:23 and you have followed the Baals."
51:26 They have forsaken the commandments of God
51:28 to follow Baal, the sun god.
51:33 And Guess what Baal, the sun god had a day
51:37 that was consecrated to his service and that day was Sunday.
51:44 They have forsaken the commandments
51:47 to worship Baal the sun god.
51:52 And what has happened?
51:53 What is the condition of the church today?
51:55 The teachings of antinomians
51:57 the commandments have been done away with.
52:00 The Sabbath has been done away with
52:03 and the church has come down well,
52:05 through the centuries by tradition
52:08 has embraced the day of the sun.
52:14 I know, that's pretty straight out there, isn't it?
52:18 You all see the Elijah message in Revelation 18,
52:20 the New Testament page 198.
52:23 Let's take a look at it as we wind up our study tonight.
52:27 Revelation 18, and here it is.
52:30 In the Book of Revelation, the Elijah message,
52:34 where it says, verse 1, "After these things
52:36 I saw another angel coming down from heaven,
52:39 having great authority,
52:41 and the earth was illumined with his glory.
52:46 Verse 2, "And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying,
52:48 'Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!'"
52:52 Babylon comes.
52:54 That word-- that term comes from the word Babel.
52:57 It was at the Tower of Babel
52:58 that God confuse their languages, right?
53:01 And that's come into the English language,
53:04 Babel of sound. It's a confusion of sound.
53:07 And Babylon in the Bible represents the confusion
53:13 that envelopes the Christian church.
53:16 It represents the confusion that is there.
53:19 Let me show you in verse 4, it makes us so very clear.
53:21 Verse 4, "And I heard another voice from heaven,
53:24 saying, 'Come out of her,'" that is out of Babylon,
53:27 "'come out of her my people,
53:30 so that you may not participate in her sins
53:32 and receive of her plagues.'"
53:35 Come out of what? Confusion.
53:39 It's one of God's last messages to the world.
53:42 Come out of confusion.
53:44 And my friend, that ought to settle it
53:46 for where are the people of God up to this point.
53:51 They're scattered through the various divisions
53:55 and the confusion that represents
53:57 the Christian church today.
53:59 But just before the coming of Jesus,
54:01 there is a message that goes out to all of His people,
54:04 "Come out of her."
54:07 Come out of Babylon. Come out of confusion.
54:10 I was hold in the series years ago in McMinnville, Oregon
54:13 down the road, up the road.
54:15 Not knowing that I had a pastor and his wife
54:20 and two couples from the church
54:21 that we're attending, night after night after night.
54:23 I didn't know this until probably month into this series.
54:27 They always sat down here.
54:29 I know they tend to raise their hands
54:31 as they were singing the songs.
54:33 And I found out that David Hayes
54:36 and his wife Cathy was attending.
54:38 And he was a-- he was a Pentecostal pastor.
54:44 And having come, night after night
54:47 they were coming all the way from Salem into McMinnville.
54:50 He had a church in McMinnville.
54:53 And another student of the scriptures
54:57 and he was convicted.
55:00 And let me tell you, his decision cost him something,
55:04 because he made a decision that he was going to become
55:07 a Sabbath keeping Christian.
55:10 And that cost him his position
55:11 as a pastor in the Pentecostal Church.
55:14 He lost his church.
55:15 And he shared with me when he sat down with his supervisor
55:19 to explain to him his decision
55:22 that he fell compelled to follow the path of truth.
55:27 And his supervisor knowing him said,
55:29 "I'm not gonna argue with you, David."
55:32 He knew him to be an honest man,
55:34 but he lost his credentials to preach.
55:37 He lost his church.
55:40 How valuable?
55:41 How valuable this truth to us?
55:44 What's more important the church to us, the fellowship?
55:48 And fellowship's important, the social connections
55:52 or is our commitment to Jesus
55:55 and our commitment to the truth more important?
55:58 And as you can see on the picture here,
55:59 David and his wife chosen to be re-baptized
56:03 and they're now members of the Seventh-day Adventist church.
56:07 Does it take a lot of commitment?
56:09 It does.
56:11 That does not come easily.
56:15 And the one does not do that lightly.
56:18 And some of us we face with similar decisions.
56:23 My friend, the church must not be a hindrance
56:27 from our following the pathway of truth.
56:32 It must not be allowed to do that.
56:36 We must feel free in our love
56:37 for Jesus to follow all the truth.
56:40 And if you know you're not gonna be free in your church
56:43 to believe and shares some of the things
56:45 you've been hearing here from the word of God
56:49 then my friend, you know you'll be put in the position
56:54 of having to make a tough decision.
56:57 But I want to tell you God will bless you in it.
57:00 He will.


Revised 2014-12-17