Small Group: The Church & Denominations-04/18/18
7th Day Adventist
- In the mid 1800’s , the Millerites (Followers of the teachings of William Miller) believed that Jesus’ ‘second advent’ (His second coming to earth) would occur on October 22, 1844. When His second coming did not take place, many Millerites gave up belief in a literal ‘second advent’; but not all.
- Over the next 15 years, former Millerites, claim to have found a number of Bible truths forgotten since the days of the early Church.
Question: How does that sound to you?
-It causes me to wonder how they, and they alone, came across these ‘hidden/forgotten’
truths. This ‘usually’ is a prelude to false teaching.
- In the beginning of this movement, its leaders were young, very young.
-James White: 23; Ellen White and Annie Smith:16; John Andrews: 15,
Minerva Loughborough: 14, Uriah Smith and John Loughboroug:
and George Butler was: 10.
-It was those children and teens, basically, helped by Joseph Bates: 52, who took the lead in the Bible conferences of the late 1840s-50s, during which the beliefs of what became the Seventh-day Adventist Church were discussed, debated and agreed.
Question: Again, what do you think about children being the ones who form doctrine and lead a movement w/in the church?
-For me; not old enough, experienced enough, educated enough to clearly understand Scripture and the doctrine associated with understanding the teaching the Bible. Again, this usually leads to false teaching.
-Case in point, the group made 16 yr old Ellen G. White, their principal leader/teacher and declared she was a prophet, inspired by God.
- The Seventh Day Adventist is the largest of the Advents groups in the World.
PP: # People:
- Over 22 million worldwide.
- About 81 thousand churches worldwide
PP: How Governed: Regional Federal Government (Presbyterian like)
- There are 4 levels of government each with decreasing level of authority:
- A board formed by the pastor/minister and select members of the local church, are responsible for the day-to-day operation of the church.
- The local church does not own property, call or pay pastors/ministers.
- The inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. Their infallibility and inerrancy.
- God is infinite yet intimate, three yet one, (Trinity) all-knowing yet all-forgiving.
- Born human so we can be reborn in the Spirit, Jesus showed us God’s love and character.
- He conquered death through resurrection, and promised to return to take us home.
PP: Holy Spirit:
- God has not left us alone. The Holy Spirit is here to comfort us, guide us and transform us to live as witnesses for God’s love.
- The same Spirit who inspired prophets and empowered Jesus, who shaped Scripture and created the world, enables and empowers each one of us.
- The Spirit activates the “body of Christ,” the church, through spiritual gifts and a humble attitude of service and compassion.
PP: How Saved:
- Jesus died for your sins and is now in heaven judging your life in Christ and will make final judgment when you are in Heaven… You may not actually get there.
Question: I’m going to look at this more closely later, but what do you think about that?
- Salvation is a free gift from God.
- The Christian life is both a life of grace through Jesus Christ and being obedient to the 10 Commandments.
- Salvation is by faith alone but the fruit of that faith is obedience to the 10 Commandments.
Question: Again, we’ll look at this more closely later, but what does this sound like?
-Faith + Works salvation
- We owe our very breath to God, yet He gave us freedom to choose
Question: Does that make them Armenian or Calvinists? What do you think they might teach about eternity security?
-Salvation is not secure
- Yet they teach, what we could not do for ourselves, Jesus did for us, paying the price for our sins, dying in our place so we can live forever.
- Jesus ministers in the heavenly sanctuary, mediating to us the benefits of His death on the cross, saving us by His righteousness, not our own deeds.
Question: Are you beginning to see some inconsistencies in their teaching on salvation?
PP: After Life:
- Jesus’ second coming is imminent and will be literal, seen by all the world.
- God does not eternally torment sinners, because it is incompatible with a God of love and kindness.
- Instead, the dead “sleep” until the second coming and last judgment. At that time the punishment for sinners will be that they cease to exist. (Annihilation)
- There is an ‘Investigative Judgment’ to determine who will enter heaven.
Question: Do you agree that sounds nice? But, is it consistent with Scripture?
-For me, the problem is; you have a young, theologically uneducated girl, who doesn’t like something she reads in the Bible, so she makes something up so she feels better about God.
PP: Here’s a few verses on what the Bible actually say about Hell and unrepentant sinners.
- His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire. (Matthew 3:12)
- And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. (Mark 9:43)
-Again, to me, that sounds like she really doesn’t have a high view of Scripture if she can change it when she doesn’t like something.
- They worship on Saturday not Sunday.
- Worship is ‘free’ and charismatic
- Kneeling is the most reverent position for prayer and all face the pulpit for prayer including those up front.
- Baptism by immersion is a symbol of our union with Christ.
-Baptism is not necessary for salvation but should follow it.
- The Lord’s Supper is a celebration and a memorial of His death. It’s open to all believers. And celebrated 4 times a year.
- Foot washing precedes all communion services.
PP: Other Beliefs:
- The Sabbath is God’s perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and His people.
- Keeping the Sabbath (Friday 6pm to Saturday 6pm) is necessary to please God.
- It’s sinful to worship on Sunday.
Question: What would you say about that?
- Over and over again we read that the early church met on the 1st day of the week. (Sunday) (Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2)
- Colossians 2:16-17 teaches that we are not to be judged by anyone for the food we eat, what we drink, whether we celebrate Jewish festivals, new moon or even the Jewish Sabbath. If the Sabbath was binding on all Christians today, this passage would be meaningless.
PP: OT Dietary Laws
- Their diet is highly restrictive; no alcohol, drugs, tobacco or any of the unclean foods mentioned in scripture.
Question: What would you say about that?
- Acts 10:9-16 (Peter’s vision from God on the rooftop)
- Matthew 15:11 (Not what goes in but what comes out that defiles)
- Acts 15:1ff (Gentiles not told to keep dietary laws)
Question: What is eschatology?
- Study of the ‘end times’ and it plays a major part of their teaching.
PP: 1. The Millennium.
- The 1000yr. reign of Christ w/His saints IN HEAVEN between the 1st and 2nd resurrections.
- During the Millennium, the earth will be only occupied by Satan and demons. It will be desolate and there will be no living human beings.
- During this time the wicked dead will be judged for their sin.
Question: For those who are pre-millennial, does that sound right?
PP 2. Investigative Judgement: Takes place during the millennium.
- All believers are written in the book of Life, but not all believers are true believers, there will be an investigation in heaven of the ‘believers’ there and some will be cast out.
- Christ started this judgment in 1844 when He entered the Most Holy Place in Heaven.
- During this time God either blots out the sins of the believer, or he removes the names of the believer from the Book of Life.
- Whenever one of God’s followers commits a sin and asks forgiveness from God, that sin is transferred into the Most Holy Place of the heavenly Sanctuary. It remains there, in the Sanctuary, until the Investigative Judgment is completed.
- It declares that those who have remained loyal to God (Kept the 10 Commandments and dietary laws) shall receive the kingdom.
- At the end of time, all the sins of the righteous are transferred from the Sanctuary onto the ‘Scapegoat’, who is Satan. Satan then suffers the final punishment for his sins and all the sins of the righteous.
Question: OK, what’s wrong with the idea of an Investigative Judgment?
- Adventists teach that God must make an investigation to determine whose names to keep in the Book of Life, and whose to blot out. God already knows who the righteous are.
-John 10:14; 2 Timothy 2:19
One of the attributes of God’s nature is “omniscience” which means that God knows everything that is possible to know.
-Psalm 147:5, 139:4; 1 John 3:20
So, in 1844, God already knew everyone that was/will be saved. Why would God need to “investigate” something He has known since before the dawn of time?
- The Adventist Church teaches the sins of the righteous are not blotted out until after the Investigative Judgment. The Bible teaches that our sins are blotted out when we repent:
-Isaiah 44:22; Acts 3:19; 1 John 1:7
- The Adventist Church teaches that the Atonement is not finished until the Investigative Judgment is completed just prior to the second coming of Jesus. The Bible teaches the Atonement was finished when Jesus died on the Cross:
-John 19:30; Hebrews 10:12-14; Romans 8:1; 5:9
- Adventists teach that no one should say they are “saved” because our salvation will not be certain until we pass through the Investigative Judgment. The Bible teaches that whoever accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior has (present tense) eternal life:
-John 5:24; 1 John 3:14
- Seventh-day Adventists teach that Jesus entered two times into the Most Holy Place of the heavenly sanctuary–once at His ascension, and once again in 1844 at the beginning of the Day of Atonement. The Bible teaches that Christ entered the Holy Place once:
-Hebrews 9:12; 10:12
PP: Spiritual gifts
- No cessation of any spiritual gifts.
- Prophesy gift is important: Founder Ellen G. White, had this gift. When she died in 1915 she had over 2000 visions.
- They teach that her predictions either have or are in the process of being fulfilled.
- All her prophecies are authoritative for the church.
PP: The ‘True Church’
- They believe they are God’s remnant church and therefore the only ‘true church’.
- They call others from ‘Babylon’ (other denominations), into their ‘true church’. They believe that when they have done this completely throughout the world, Jesus will return.
- Christadelphians, Advent Christian Church
PP: Prominent Leaders:
- Miller had dedicated himself to the study of biblical prophecy and was convinced that Christ would return on October 22, 1844. When Christ did not return, a non-event that would become known as The Great Disappointment, most people abandoned Adventism.
Ellen G. White:
- After The Great Disappointment, she claimed to have visions that were accepted as new God-given revelation.
- Her visions continued and she quickly became their spiritual leader. Adventists hold Whites teachings as inspired and authoritative in the church. They call this ‘The Spirit of Prophesy.’ They measure all doctrine by the Bible AND Ellen Whites teachings.
Question: So, any more ‘red lights’ going off in your mind?
- In 1855 Ellen White moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, and that became Adventism’s hub.
Question: Remember back to when you were a kid. What commercial advertised Battle Creek, Michigan?
- Kellogg cereals. (Corn Flakes)
-John H. Kellogg was the director of the Battle Creek Sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan. The sanitarium was founded by members of the Seventh day Adventist Church.
-John and his brother fought and Will founded Kellogg cereals based on his brothers work.
- All during this time Ellen continued to receive over 2000 prophetic dreams and visions, and through them she guided and formed the church.
- Carson, committed himself to the church when he was 14.
- Yet, is not a strict Sabbath-observer. He has held campaign rallies on Saturday and made Saturday stops on book tours.
Prince, Malcom X, Magic Johnson, Busta Rhymes, Chi Mcbride,
COLLINGWOOD PARK SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH
276 Shark River Road, Tinton Falls NJ. 07753
January 20, 2018
The Collingwood Park Church Family would like to welcome you to God’s House of Prayer. It is our prayer that you will be richly blessed having spent this Sabbath day with us worshiping and praising our Heavenly Father.
The mission of Collingwood Park Seventh-Day Adventist Church is to recognize and nurture every member as a valued and gifted disciple of Jesus Christ to reach families, neighbors and friends with the good news of the gift of Salvation in Jesus Christ in the context of the three angels’ message of Revelation 14:6-12.
The Church at Study
Song Service Praise Team
Opening Hymn #388 “Don’t Forget the Sabbath” Congregation
Opening Remarks Sis. Janice Gillette
Prayer for Lesson Study Teachers
Lesson Study Facilitators
“God or Mammon”
Special Music Bro. Noel Allen
Welcome Sis. Herma Allen
Closing Remarks Bro. Fitzroy Morris
Closing Prayer Sis. Sherles
This Week: Health Ministry
Next Week: Personal Ministry/Reclaiming Ministry
Elder Smith Alexandre
DIVINE WORSHIP SERVICE
11:15 am – 1:00 pm
We Gather in Hope
Musical Prelude Praise Team
Introit “His Name is Wonderful” Congregation
Call to Worship Psalm 100 Sis. Audrey Saleem
Doxology “Bless the Lord Oh My Soul” Congregation
Invocation Elder Smith Alexandre
Welcome Sis. Herma Allen
We Praise Your Name
Hymn of Praise # 368 “Watchmen, Blow the Gospel Trumpet” Congregation
Lamb’s Offering Children
Ministry to Children Sis. Rhonda Thomas
Offertory Local Church Budget Sis. Audrey Saleem
Special Music Bro. Victor Clairmont
Scripture Reading Matthew 28:18-20 Bro. Joshua Stephens
Call to Prayer “Spirit of the Living God” Congregation
Intercessory Prayer Sis. Herma Allen
Response “Oh It Is Jesus” Congregation
We Receive Your Word
Hymn of Meditation Bro. Victor Clairmont
Sermon Elder Smith Alexandre
“Why we Christians have to preach the Gospel”
We Depart To Serve
Closing Hymn #378 “Go Preach My Gospel” Congregation
Benediction Elder Smith Alexandre
Dismissal #691 “Lead Me, Lord” Congregation
Please remain standing for Responses
Worshipers may use these times to enter or exit the Sanctuary
Assembly of God
In 1906, the Azusa Street Revival, led by William J. Seymor in Los Angeles launches the Pentecostal movement.
- Worship at 312 Azusa Street was frequent and spontaneous with services going almost around the clock. A Christian observer at one of the services wrote these words:
-No instruments of music are used. None are needed. No choir- the angels have been heard by some in the spirit. No collections are taken. No bills have been posted to advertise the meetings. No church organization is back of it. All who are in touch with God realize as soon as they enter the meetings that the Holy Ghost is the leader.
- The Los Angeles Timeswrote this:
-Meetings are held in a tumble-down shack on Azusa Street, and the devotees of the weird doctrine practice the most fanatical rites, preach the wildest theories and work themselves into a state of mad excitement in their peculiar zeal.
-African Americans and a sprinkling of whites compose the congregation, and night is made hideous in the neighborhood by the howlings of the worshippers, who spend hours swaying forth and back in a nerve racking attitude of prayer and supplication.
-They claim to have the “gift of tongues” and be able to understand the babel.
The Assemblies of God was founded in 1914 in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
There are more than 67 million Assemblies of God members worldwide, making the Assemblies of God the world’s largest Pentecostal denomination.
PP: How Governed:
Congregational. But in reality pastors, and their wives, wield great power.
The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, are verbally inspired of God and are the revelation of God to man, the infallible, authoritative rule of faith and conduct.
The one true God has revealed Himself as the eternally self-existent “I AM,” the Creator of heaven and earth and the Redeemer of mankind. He has further revealed Himself as embodying the principles of relationship and association as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The eternal Son, incarnate, fully God and fully human, conceived and born of the virgin Mary, died on the cross for our sins, rose bodily from the grave, ascended into Heaven, and will come in glory to judge us all.
PP: Holy Spirit:
Most church web sites do not have a Holy Spirit section, except to talk about the ‘Baptism, in the Holy Spirit.’
I found one that did: The Holy Spirit is given to every follower of Christ to guide, comfort, convict, and adopt us into the family of God. He helps us grow into Christ-likeness by producing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, and He gives us spiritual gifts to empower us to meet the needs of God’s people and a hurting world.
OK, doctrine so far sounds good. Right?
PP: How Saved:
Man was created good, but by voluntary transgression fell and thereby incurred not only physical death but also spiritual death, which is separation from God. Man’s only hope of redemption is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
Salvation is received
- Through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ.
- By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.
Being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life.
- The inward evidence of salvation is the direct witness of the Spirit.
- The outward evidence to all men is a life of righteousness and true holiness.
Still sounds pretty good.
They continue: The General Council of the Assemblies of God disapproves of the unconditional security position which holds that it is impossible for a person once saved to be lost. (Bylaws, Article IX.B.1)
- My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:19–20)
Question: What does that verse sound like? Why would Pentecostals use this verse to say you can lose your salvation?
Since salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. (Both, they teach is a choice on our part) It can be removed when we fail to repent for a sin or lose faith in Jesus.
Question: What do you think about that?
- And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
- who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:8–9)
- But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. (Hebrews 3:13–14)
Question: What light do these three verses shed on Christians who ‘wander’ from the faith?
PP: This is from John Piper:
- We are justified by grace alone through faith alone apart from works.
- Those who are justified will certainly be glorified. (Romans 8:30)
- But no one will be glorified or finally saved who does not continue in the faith.
- God Himself will keep His children from finally falling away.
- God keeps His children by means of his children. (Hebrews 3:13–14)
Since it is God who saves you, it will be God who sustains you, who pulls you back from wandering away. And He will often use other Christians to pull you back… That’s why the Christians faithfulness to the local community of faith (church) is so important.
Here are a few verses that talk about the work of God in salvation and the result for those who believe. PP:
- I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. (John 10:28–29)
- I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:13)
- In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:13–14)
- Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
PP: After Life:
- The rapture of the saints. The second coming / visible return of Christ with His saints.
- The millennial reign of Jesus for 1000 years on the earth.
- The final judgment of the wicked dead, along with the devil and his angels, the beast and the false prophet, will be consigned to the everlasting punishment in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. (Hell)
- A New Heaven and New Earth that Christ is preparing for all people, of all time, who have accepted Him.
Question: How do they baptize w/ water and what does it mean?
- Baptism: Follow the Baptist model
Question: How do they observe the Lord’s supper and what does it mean?
- The Lord’s Supper: Follows the Baptist model
PP: Worship (Use OW)
Question: What might you see in their worship service?
- Emphasis on the manifestation of the Spiritual gifts.
- Physical structure would look much like any other protestant church.
- Worship service is informal, generally upbeat with no vestments worn by clergy.
- Sunday am service is oriented around worship
- Sunday pm service is geared for evangelism.
- Midweek service is Bible study and prayer.
PP: Other Beliefs:
Miraculous Healing and those with the gift of healing.
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
- Second work of grace
- This is an empowering experience distinct from baptism into the body of Christ. It is a sign of maturity in Christ and is accompanied with speaking in tongues.
Some churches view certain leaders/pastors as prophets in the OT sense and their messages are authoritative.
Question: What do you think about that?
Some modern Pentecostal theologians teach that the canon of Scripture is not closed and that God is still giving special revelation. (Hagin, Copeland, Hinn to name a few)
- However, the biblical canon closed after the writing of Revelation and was recognized soon after in the ancient church. Jude 3speaks of “the faith once for all delivered to the saints” and warns repeatedly against tolerating false prophets.
“God told me” has become commonplace in the Pentecostal movement. Strange private prophecies are proclaimed by all kinds of people who evidently believe God speaks new truth to them.
- Rodman Williams wrote: The Bible truly has become a fellow witness to God’s present activity
Question: What does the word fellow imply?
He’s teaching that the Bible is not our final source of God’s revelation but simply a witness to additional revelation that God is giving today. Williams is declaring that Christians can add to the Bible—and that they can accept others’ additions to Scripture as normal and authoritative.
The truth is, there is no fresher or more intimate revelation than Scripture. God does not need to give private revelation to help us in our walk with Him.
- All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16–17)
Scripture is sufficient. It offers all we need for every good work.
The Toronto Blessing & Brownsville Revival
Question: Have you heard of the Toronto Blessing or the Brownsville Revival?
What are they known for?
- Occurred in the mid 1990’s.
- Holy Laughter/Drunk in the Spirit: Supposedly spontaneous laughter while worshipping the Lord.
- Animal sounds: Supposedly spontaneously growling, roaring, barking and the like during worship.
- Slain in the Spirit: Fainting, seemingly unconscious lying on the ground during worship.
Question: Is there Biblical precedent for all of that?
Question: What do you think about that?
Within the context of corporate worship Paul wrote this:
- But all things should be done decently and in order. (1 Corinthians 14:40)
Holds to conservative Biblical teachings.
Role of Women
In the Assemblies of God in America, women can be ordained into ministry.
PP: Prominent Leaders:
Brian Houston (Hillsong) Jan/Paul Crouch (TBN), Benny Hinn,
John Ashcroft, Sarah Palin
Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Duane Chapman (TV show “Dog the Bounty Hunter”)
Jonas Brothers (singers) Phil Keaggy (Christian artist)