Clifton Brandt Speaks About God's Freedom and Religious Liberty
The church service in the Laurelbrook Seventh-day Adventist Church on March 5, 2016 began with an introit by Jairit (junior) on the piano. Elizabeth Castle had the Personal Ministries Corner. She had Rich Sutton tell what the upcoming mission trip to Belize plans to do – building more Sabbath rooms and make improvements on one church and finishing the interior walls on another church. The group will also go on outreach with students from an Adventist school. The group going to Belize was invited to the platform, and Bob Gustafson prayed a prayer of dedication.
Rich Sutton then mentioned that the institution has gotten official permission for the new LPN program. Who the instructors are is being finalized. Rich Sutton followed with the announcements. Supper will be at 5:30 today with worship at 6:30 in the auditorium.
Rodney Herra announced that Pastor Mark Cox has been hired as Laurelbrook’s new pastor (he has two other churches). He will be speaking every fourth Sabbath at Laurelbrook.
The congregation had a silent invocation while a student music group sang “The Lord Is In His Holy Temple”. The congregation then sang “Jesus Saves”. Rich Sutton then had the Morning Prayer; the congregation sang “Hear Our Prayer”. Laura (junior) then called for the offering, which was for the local church budget. Eric (senior) and Daryll Ellis then collected the morning offerings; the loose offering went to the local church budget. The congregation sang the doxology, and Rich Sutton prayed for the offering.
Keren (senior ELL student) read Psalm 119:45 in both Spanish and English “And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts.” Jairit (junior) told the children a story about a plane wreck in a desert and resulting search efforts that resulted. The Acre family then sang for special music, accompanied on the piano by daughter Samantha (elementary).
Clifton Brandt discussed the topic “Freedom and Liberty”. The congregation sang “He Hideth My Soul”. Clifton Brandt had the closing prayer.
ELL students are English Language Learners, typically students at Laurelbrook for short periods of time to learn English and gain vocational skills.
Personnel Other Than Students:
Clifton Brandt – works with Laurelbrook’s water, sewer, and boiler systems/ local head deacon / local church elder
Daryll Ellis – local church deacon / works for nearby Majestic Stone Company
Bob Gustafson – local church elder / Laurelbrook vice-president / Laurelbrook farm manager
Rich Sutton – Laurelbrook president
Rodney Herra – men’s work coordinator / local head church elder
Following are some notes on the sermon by Clifton Brandt:
- 1 Corinthians 15:1-10 “1 ¶ Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which [was bestowed] upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
- The story of Jesus’ life and death is the good news to be shared with others so they can see the freedom they can have in Christ.
- 1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
- The Law of God gives us the knowledge of what sin actually is.
- Romans 3:19 “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
- Romans 3:20 “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law [is] the knowledge of sin.” No one is saved by his/her own efforts.
- Romans 3:21-26 “21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, [I say], at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”
- Hab 2:4 “Behold, his soul [which] is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.”
- Genesis 15:1-6 “1 ¶ After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I [am] thy shield, [and] thy exceeding great reward. 2 ¶ And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house [is] this Eliezer of Damascus? 3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. 4 And, behold, the word of the LORD [came] unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. 5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”
- Faith comes when we believe what the Word says to us is from the Lord Himself.
- Romans 4:1-4 “1 ¶ What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath [whereof] to glory; but not before God. 3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.”
- If we are trying to get God to accept us due to what we do, we are trying to earn God’s favor by what we do for Him. But good works come from accepting God’s grace, and then works will follow from God’s acceptance.
- Ellen White says that “righteousness is obedience to the Law.” However, a sinner is incapable of giving to God this perfect obedience; this perfect obedience comes through accepting God’s grace and power through Christ. We have nothing to give to God to secure salvation.
- God places the obedience of Jesus to our accounts through our faith. The devil found nothing of sin in Jesus.
- Many Christians have no assurance of their own personal salvation because they have not taken Jesus’ obedience and direction for themselves.
- They will fail in the great test if they do not accept Jesus’ merits and direction.
- Romans 8:15-21 “15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 ¶ And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together. 18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. 20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”
- True freedom comes only through the Law of God.
- Romans 13:1-2“1 ¶ Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”
- Acts 4:19 “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.”
- Acts 5:29 “Then Peter and the [other] apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.”
- We should obey governments unless they conflict with God’s Law.
- A recent issue of Liberty magazine contains an article published over a hundred years ago in a Catholic magazine. The pope at the time was watching the American nation rise in the world; he felt that the U.S. was the wave of the future.
- The Great Controversy, p. 580 says that the Catholic Church watches the world’s events and are waiting to seize the power if once had.
- The Catholic Church sees that the main support for Protestantism comes from England and the United States. Then the whole world will become Catholic. In a hundred years, the article predicted, Protestantism will be extinct.
- Another Catholic paper from St. Louis in 1885 said that the Catholic Church is intolerant of heresy because the Church cannot make mistakes and has the job of rooting out wrong beliefs in other groups and people. When Catholics become a majority in the United States, then the church will end religious liberty in the U.S.
- The Liberty article also quoted a pope who said that religious liberty should be only for Catholics to do what they want to do. The Catholic Church has the right to insist that everyone must believe as Catholics do.
- George Washington once said that everyone who is following the dictates of his/her own conscience must be protected in this religious right.
- Religious freedom will be taken away. Every person will have to stand alone when this takes place.
- Revelation 13 will be fulfilled in our own lifetimes. This chapter shows what the issues are in the End Times.
- Christian Service, p. 160 says the exultation of Sunday as the universal “Sabbath” will lead the Lord to intervene. Protestantism will be yielding the supremacy of the papacy.
- What is our duty? We need to warn the world of what is about to take place. We are not ready, sitting in idleness as these events unfold in the world.
- We must be working to preserve liberty of conscience until God’s Work on earth is finished.