John 17:17 • “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth”
Attitudes What should our attitude be toward AUTHORITY in religion?
Purpose Define Instruct Encourage
“Attitude” Defined • Attitude: • 1. Manner, disposition, feeling, position, etc., with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, esp. of the mind: a negative attitude; group attitudes. • 2. Position or posture of the body appropriate to or expressive of an action, emotion, etc.: a threatening attitude; a relaxed attitude. Source: Dictionary.com
“Authority” Defined Authority: Greek Word – Exousia Vine:“The power of authority, the right to exercise power… the power of rule or government… the power of one whose will and commands must be obeyed by others.” (page 89). Thayer:“The power of authority and of right…the power of rule or government”
Authority Needed In all Realms! • School • Business • Nation • Home • Sports • Religion! If we can see the need for authority in these other areas… Surely we can see the need for authority in our religious practices?
Introduction • There must be standards in every realm of life: • Standards of weights & measurements! • OSHA standards for workplace safety and health! • Standards promote order! • They must be followed! • If not followed, chaos and problems will result! • Jesus was confronted about the subject of Authority! • Matt. 21:23-27 • This subject deals with the soul! • Authority determines right and wrong! • This subject involves the root of division, denominationalism and all religious error! • God has left man with the responsibility to determine and obey the proper authority!
Matthew 21:23-27 • And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? 24 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? 26 But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. 27 And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.
Sources of Authority • Two Broad Areas: • Improper - from MEN! • Proper - from HEAVEN(God)!
There are many Improper Standards of Authority • Christians Must Reject All Improper Standards! • Jer. 6:16-17 • Matt. 7:13-14 • 1 Kings 13 • To NOT reject all improper sources of authority is inexcusable!
Improper Sources of Authority! • Philosophy and Worldly “Wisdom”! • 1 Cor. 1:21, 26 • Col. 2:8 • Prov. 14:12 • Jer. 10:23
Improper Sources of Authority! • The Majority! • The majority is almost always wrong! • Noah & his family • Gen. 6:5-22; 1 Pet. 3:20 • Elijah & the prophets of Baal • 1 Kgs. 18:17-40 • Joshua & His Family • Jos. 24:14-20 • Matt. 7:13, 14; Lk. 13:24 • Parable of the sower: • Only ONE of the four soils brought fourth plentifully! • Majority of the soils were unfruitful! • Jn. 15:6
Improper Sources of Authority! • Our Parents or Forefathers! • Matt. 10:33-38; Lk. 14:26 • Gal. 1:14-16 • We must love our parents and families, but Christ must come first!
Improper Sources of Authority! • The Voice Of Religious Reformers! • Martin Luther - Doctrine of faith only! • John Calvin’s - Five Points of Calvinism! • The ideas of these men originated in the mind of men-and not from God’s word!
Five Points of Calvinism • Calvinism: the theological system of (John) Calvin and his followers marked by strong emphasis on the sovereignty of God, the depravity of humankind, and the doctrine of predestination. • TULIP Doctrine: • Total Depravity - All babies are born into the world destined for hell. Inherit the sin of Adam. • Unconditional Election - God had a predetermined master list of the saved before creation. This list cannot be changed. • Limited Atonement - Christ did not die for all men but only those on the “saved list.” • Irresistible Grace - God sends the Holy Spirit only those on the “saved list.” • Perseverance of the Saints - A child of God once saved, cannot be lost.
Tulip Doctrine Defeated By Scripture • Total Inherited Depravity: • Ezek. 18:20; Rom. 14:12 • Unconditional Election: • Eph. 1:3-6; Gal. 3:26-29; Acts 10:34-35 • Limited Atonement: • Jn. 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:3-6 • Irresistible Grace: • Gospel Saves - Rom. 1:15-17 • Perseverance of the Saints: • 1 Cor. 10:12; Gal. 5:4 “…that whosoever believeth should not perish…”
Improper Sources of Authority! • Philosophy and Worldly “Wisdom”! • The Majority! • Our Parents or Forefathers! • The Voice Of Religious Reformers! • Those claming “latter-day” Revelation!
Improper Sources of Authority! • Those claming “latter-day” Revelation! • Joseph Smith - Founder of Mormon church (1810-1844) • Mary Baker Eddy - Christian Scientist (1821-1910) • Ellen G. White - Seventh Day Adventist (1827-1915) • Jim Jones - Peoples Temple Cult (1931-1978) • David Koresh - Branch Davidian Cult (1959-1993) • “Latter-day” is too late! • There are NO latter-day revelators: • Rev. 22:18-19; 2 Jn. 9-11; Jude 3; 2 Pet. 1:3; Matt. 24:24; Mk. 13:22
“According to the pattern” Beginning: Time, Builder, Place • JW’s - 1872, C. Russell, America • SDA -1830, W. Miller, America • Mormon - 1830, J. Smith, America • Methodist - 1729, J. Wesley, England • Baptist - 1607 J. Smythe, Holland • Presbyterian - 1586, J. Calvin, Switzerland • Lutheran - 1520, M. Luther, Germany • Catholic - 606, Boniface III, Rome The Doctrine of Christ RIGHT: Time Builder Place WRONG: Time Builder Place Dan. 2:44 Time - Pentecost - Acts 2:47 33 A. D. Builder - Christ - Matt. 16:18; Mk. 9:1 Place - Jerusalem - Acts 1:8 Col. 1:13; Rev. 1:9 “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son” (2 John 9).
SDA Fundamental Beliefs • 18. The Gift of Prophecy: • “One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen. G. White . As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. (Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:14-21; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 12:17; 19:10.)” • Source: http://www.adventist.org/beliefs/fundamental/index.html
Christ & His Apostles Tell Us This! • Jesus: • Jn. 14:26; 15:26; 16:13; 17:17 • Luke: • Acts 1:1-11 • Paul: • 1 Cor. 2:1-16; Gal. 1:11; Eph. 1:3-10; 3:1-7; 1. Cor. 14:37; Heb. 1:1-2; 2 Pet. 1:16-21; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2:15 • Peter: • 2 Pet. 1:3 • John: • Jn. 20:30, 31; 1 Jn. 4:1 • Question: Why does anyone need to depend on Ellen G. White (or anyone else) to tell us what the Bible and its inspired writers told us over 2000 years ago? • Question: What did those do BEFORE Ellen G. White’s time?
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Pet. 2:1). “Latter-Day” False Prophets! Joseph Smith Mormon Cult Mary Baker Eddy Christian Scientist Cult Ellen Gould White Seventh Day Adventist Cult Jim Jones People’s Temple Cult David Koresh Branch Davidian Cult
Improper Sources of Authority! • The Voice of Moses and the law! • This is past truth, not present Truth! • 2 Pet. 1:12 • Law was fulfilled by Christ: • Matt. 5:17-18 • Col. 2:14-17 • Gal. 3:22-25 • God in Heaven said of Christ - “hear ye Him” • Matt. 17:5
Improper Sources of Authority! • John the Baptist! • John was the righteous man that pointed those of his day to Christ! • Matt. 3:3 • Jn. 3:29-30 • Acts 19:1-6
The Proper Source of Authority! • Christ and His Words! • Christ spoke with authority! • Jn. 7:46; 17:1-5 • Jn. 17:17; 12:48; 5:24; 8:31, 32 • Heb. 1:1-2; 12:25 • All authority given to Him (Christ) in Heaven and on earth! • Matt. 28:18-20
The Proper Source of Authority! • Authority Delegated to the Apostles! • Given the authority to bind and loose! • Matt. 16:18 • Christ promised to guide the Apostles into “all truth”: • Jn. 14:26; 16:13 • Apostles spoke as the Holy Spirit “gave them utterance”: • Acts 2:1-4; 37-41; Eph. 6:19 • Apostles were Ambassadors of Christ! • 2 Cor. 5:18-20
Clinton Hamilton on Matthew 16:18 • Since God has so emphatically declared that the scriptures are His product, the result of His out-breathing, what does that say about the authority of scripture? Jesus asserted that scripture cannot be broken (Jn. 10:34, 35). The word broken means to loose or to take out of effect. The point is, that whatever God bound cannot be loosed. The same word is used by John the Baptist when he stated that he was not worthy to loose the latchet of Christ's shoes. What God has tied, no man can loose. What the apostles by the authority of Christ bound on earth had already been bound in heaven and what they loosed on earth had already been loosed in heaven (Matt. 16:19; 16:18). Truth Magazine I:12, pp. 1, 22-23, September 1957
Hodge on “Ambassadors” "An ambassador is at once a messenger and a representative. He does not speak in his own name. He does not act on his own authority. What he communicates is not his own opinions or demands, but simply what he has been told or commissioned to say. His message derives no part of its importance or trustworthiness from him. At the same time he is more than a mere messenger. He represents his sovereign. He speaks with authority, as accredited to him in the name of his master." Charles Hodge, Commentary on the Second Epistle to the Corinthians, p. 146
Words of the Apostles Are Inspired • 1 Corinthians 2:9-13 • 1 Corinthians 14:37 • Ephesians 3:3-5 • Galatians 1:11-12 • 2 Peter 1:21 Therefore, the words of the Apostles are equal in authority to the words of Christ – Matt. 16:19
Example: Doctrine’s From Men! • SDA Fundamental Belief # 22 - Christian Behavior: “We are called to be a godly people who think, feel, and act in harmony with the principles of heaven. For the Spirit to recreate in us the character of our Lord we involve ourselves only in those things which will produce Christlike purity, health, and joy in our lives. This means that our amusement and entertainment should meet the highest standards of Christian taste and beauty. While recognizing cultural differences, our dress is to be simple, modest, and neat, befitting those whose true beauty does not consist of outward adornment but in the imperishable ornament of a gentle and quiet spirit. It also means that because our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, we are to care for them intelligently. Along with adequate exercise and rest, we are to adopt the most healthful diet possible and abstain from the unclean foods identified in the Scriptures. Since alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and the irresponsible use of drugs and narcotics are harmful to our bodies, we are to abstain from them as well. Instead, we are to engage in whatever brings our thoughts and bodies into the discipline of Christ, who desires our wholesomeness, joy, and goodness. (Rom. 12:1, 2; 1 John 2:6; Eph. 5:1-21; Phil. 4:8; 2 Cor. 10:5; 6:14-7:1; 1 Peter 3:1-4; 1 Cor. 6:19, 20; 10:31; Lev. 11:1-47; 3 John 2.)” But: 1 Tim. 4:3-4; Col. 2:16-23; Acts 10:9-16; Eph. 2:14-18; Rom. 14:1-17
Therefore… According to SDA’s! Who Will You Believe, SDA’s Or The Inspired Apostle? According to Paul! “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving” (1 Tim. 4:4)
The Proper Source of Authority! • We have the words of Christ and His Apostles! • Doctrine of Christ or Apostles Doctrine: • 2 Jn. 9-11; Acts 2:47 • What we do is either from Heaven or Men! • If taught by Christ & His apostles - It is From Heaven! • If not - It is From Men! • If from Heaven, it is a message that must be believed and obey! • If from men – it must be rejected!!
Improper Sources of Authority! • Philosophy and Worldly “Wisdom”! • The Majority! • Our Parents or Forefathers! • The Voice Of Religious Reformers! • Those claming “latter-day” Revelation! • The Voice of Moses and the law! • John the Baptist!
The Proper Source of Authority! • Christ and His Words! • The words of Christ’s Apostles!
Conclusion! • May we have the humility to realize and accept our inferiority! • Let us submit to the authority of Christ and His Apostles! • Let us reject the authority of men! • “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men”(Acts 5:29).
Isaiah 55:6-9 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.