Elder's Conference—2014

Steve Durham—May 24, 2014

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It's interesting how God weaves messages and has a theme and works in our minds, because what I have to say will tie in with what Ben Ambrose said. One of the reasons why I'm giving this today, and one of the things I feel is important—what's happened during the conference and the last three or four weeks of messages that we've gotten—have sort of focused on an importance to think about our calling, but also to kindle a fire, allow that Holy Spirit to burn and kindle in us! Really flame up! Really become hot!

How many people do you know from the 60s, 70s, 80s that you were close to and you don't know where they are now? You don't know what they're doing, and you think that maybe they are gone. But we don't know! We don't whether that flame is still burning. That's what I want to talk about today.

Paul admonishes Timothy, 2-Timothy 1:6: "For this reason, I admonish you to stir up the gift of God that is in you by the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power… [this is what the Spirit is] …and of love… [Christ's message (John 14-17)] …and of sound-mindedness" (vs 6-7). The word "…stir up…" is to kindle, kindle a fire!

Paul also admonished in 1-Thessalonians 5:19[transcriber's correction] : "Quench not the Spirit."

You can put the fire out; the fire can get buried under ashes in our lives. As Satan begins to pile on and the wind beats, the rain comes and the storms come, our flame begins to wane. The flame in other people begins to wane, and we see that sometimes. Ashes begin to accumulate, which can cause that fire to go out.

I want to talk about a couple of things that has happened in our local area. I got an e-mail that an individual wanted to be contacted and he was from Indianapolis. He gave his name and I recognized the name, but I thought, 'No, there's no way'; that was 19 years ago! So, I said that it can't be him. That was back in Worldwide and I went to Spokesman's Club with him.

I called him and said, 'Hi, this is Steve Durham, and the reason I'm calling is I got a message from Fred, from CBCG.' There was a pause and I thought I lost him. 'Steve Durham!' Yes, John, is that you! 'Yes!' We were all excited and everything.

So, he had left in 1995, disappointed. Nobody contacted him; he just left. I didn't know where he went; I didn't know what happened to him. He had gone into his library—he's a study person—and he had the Sabbath, the Holy Days and Fred's first edition of A Harmony of the Gospels. He read it religiously every year; he kept the Passover.

What got him going was that somebody said, 'You know, he's got another edition.' I guess he called and found out there was a third edition. He didn't know anything about any of the websites, any of the publications, nothing! All he knew about was the first edition.

It was exciting! We got him to Passover! He was all excited and he's been coming on a regular basis all fired up; he's like 'a blind dog in a meat house!' I gave him God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days and he read it in a week. He wanted more. We gave another and he read it, so I guess he wrote in for quite a few things.

On fire! Kindled the Spirit!

What about other people? We have another lady who was baptized in 1952. Carn Catherwood came through in 1952 and baptized her in a creek, and three or four of her family members. All of them are gone. Her husband divorced her. They're all gone! Her daughter put a note on Facebook to the Church of God community in Indianapolis—which is quite a few people—for someone to help her with Passover because she desperately wanted to take the Passover.

Long story short, she took the Passover with us and she's coming every week extremely excited. Again, the flame is still burning, under ashes, but it's still there.

  • What about other people that we know?
  • What about us?
  • Is our flame under some ashes maybe?

We have to do a self-examination of that!

  • Are we concerned about others in our fellowship group or other people we know?

With Pentecost just around the corner, I thought about the message that we heard about the Holy Spirit and the pope and the Catholic Church and what's going on. Satan is so subtle and crafty, and there are some things going on that if we're not careful to guard the doctrines, but also guard our heart, our altar, where the flame resides in our heart and mind. It's from the Father and we've been given it, and we're going to seethat.

That's what has really stirred this. What I want to do is turn to Lev. 6 and see where God is 'the same yesterday, today and forever.' He has given Israel a commandment, a charge, to keep the fire burning.

Leviticus 6:8: "And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 'Command Aaron and his sons, saying… [this is the priesthood] …"This is the law of the burnt offering. It is the burnt offering for burning upon the altar all night until morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it. And the priest shall put on his linen garment. And he shall put his linen breeches on his flesh and take up the ashes, which the fire has consumed with the burnt offering upon the altar. And he shall put them beside the altar" (vs 8-10). In other words, clean out the ashes from the altar.

Verse 11: And he shall strip off his garments… [there's a lot of work going on here to keep the fire going] …and put on other garments, and carry forth the ashes outside the camp to a clean place. And the fire upon the altar shall be kept burning. It shall not be put out. And the priest shall burn wood on it every morning, and lay the burnt offering in order upon it. And he shall burn upon it the fat of the peace offerings. The fire shall always be burning upon the altar. It shall never go out" (vs 11-13).

Kind of sounds like the New Testament—doesn't it? Actually, yes, it is! God sent the fire; God gave them the fire for the altar.

Leviticus 9:24: "And there came a fire out from before the LORD… [I think that fire came from God for the altar] …and burned up the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. And all the people saw and shouted and fell on their faces."

Leviticus 10:1: "And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, and put incense on it, and offered strange fire before the LORD… [They let the fire go out, so they had to hurry and get some more fire. This was false fire, not from God.] …which He had commanded them not to do."

  • they didn't follow instructions
  • they didn't care about it
  • they weren't thinking about what needed to be done
  • focusing on God
  • keeping God's fire going

They put some other fire on there! What happened?
Verse 2: "And there went out fire from the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD." Serious stuff! Good example! They put a different fire on the altar.

What about us? We're going to see that the Holy Spirit is represented by several different symbols. One of them is fire! God's eyes are like flames of fire (Rev.). He manifests Himself as fire; He came to Moses in a bush as fire! He's an all consuming fire! It represents God and God's Spirit. Our calling, being a part of that family, we, too, have that in us!

We're going to see that on the Day of Pentecost what happened. This is the New Testament Church. I want to read a Scripture and sort of set the stage of what happened:

1-Corinthians 3:11: "For no one is able to lay any other foundation besides that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ." That's what we build on. That's how our fire continues to burn; doing the things that Christ shows us; having the mind of Christ coming to the 'fullness of the measure of the stature of Jesus Christ. Being love and showing the love of God to other people, which is the Royal Law (James 2).

Verse 12: "Now, if anyone builds upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or stubble, the work of each one shall be manifested; for the day of trial will declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall prove what kind of work each one's is. If the work that anyone has built endures, he shall receive a reward" (vs 12-14). Hang in there and there will be a reward in the future.

Verse 15: "If the work of anyone is burned up… [under ashes and, possibly, the Lake of Fire] …he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet, as through fire. Don't you understand that you are God's temple, and that the Spirit of God is dwelling in you?" (vs 15-16). The fire is in you!

Verse 17: "If anyone defiles the temple of God, God shall destroy him because the temple of God is Holy, which temple you are."

Here comes God to His Church, Acts 2:1 "And when the Day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day, was being fulfilled, they were all with one accord in the same place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like the rushing of a powerful wind, and filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire, and sat upon each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit; and they began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the words to proclaim" (vs 1-4). They received the Holy Spirit and in the form of flames.

  • Where does it reside?
  • Where is it written?
  • Where is the Law written?
  • In your heart!
  • In your mind!
  • Is that the altar?
  • Is that the altar of our temple?
  • The temple of God?
  • Possibly so!

Very important: the fire/flame is from God. Christ tells us that in John 14, that the Spirit comes from the Father. Fred has told us that the Spirit is the begettal of the Father; it comes from Him to us. He's working with us personally to get us to that point; to that reward, the sonship, in the family situation where we, too, have eyes as flames of fire. That we are glorified as our Father and elder Brother both are.

1-Peter 2—to verify that we are this temple. The command was given to the priests. You could say that was Old Testament and the Aaronic priesthood was given that charge, not us. Christ inspired Peter to write:

1-Peter 2:1: "Therefore, having put away all wickedness, and all deceit, and hypocrisies… [these are the things that cause ashes, with us and our brothers] …and jealousies, and all slanders, as newborn babes, yearn after the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow… [have that flame stirred and kindled] …if you yourselves have indeed tasted that the Lord is gracious. To Whom coming, as to a living Stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God, and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house—a Holy priesthood—to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ" (vs 1-5).

Verse 9: "But you are a chosen stock, a royal priesthood… [we are to be kings and priests (Rev. 5:10)] …a Holy nation, a people for a possession of God… [by the blood of Jesus Christ] …that you might proclaim His excellent virtues, Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." We're to be lights to the world. That flame shines to the world; it benefits the entire world.

  • Are we ready for that?
  • Am I ready for that?

I've had a couple of opportunities, and it's tough because there's a big gap of 20-30 years there, and here they are now in our presence. God is setting up little fellowship groups all over and things are going to bust loose.

The more the Churches of this world become one, the more we are isolated. The more we have to stand up for the doctrines and the Holy Spirit; the right Holy Spirit! There's another spirit out there that looks good and there's a charismatic spirit and it gets you killed. The Holy Spirit brings you to life!

There are many things I could say; that's the point I wanted to make today. Remember to kindle and stir up the Spirit; do not quench it and help our brothers and sisters do the same!

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version by Fred R. Coulter

Scriptural References:

  • 2 Timothy 1:6-7
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:19
  • Leviticus 6:8-13
  • Leviticus 9:24
  • Leviticus 10:1-2
  • 1 Corinthians 3:11-17
  • Acts 2:1-4
  • 1 Peter 2:1-5, 9

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 14-17
  • James 2
  • Revelation 5:10

Also referenced: Books:

  • A Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter
  • God's Plan for Mankind Revealed by His Sabbath and Holy Days by Fred R. Coulter

SD:bo
Transcribed: 6-27-14

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