San Diego Clairemont Seventh-Day Adventist Church

Developing a loving relationship with Christ and our community

A Word To The Little Flock Part Twenty Eight

Dear Follow Believers:

“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; or else the new piece pulls away from the old, and the tear is made worse. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.” (Mark 2:21-22 NKJV)
Nadie echa remiendo de paño recio en vestido viejo; de otra manera el mismo remiendo nuevo tira del viejo, y la rotura se hace peor. Ni nadie echa vino nuevo en odres viejos; de otra manera, el vino nuevo rompe los odres, y se derrama el vino, y los odres se pierden; mas el vino nuevo en odres nuevos se ha de echar. (Marcos 2:21-22 SRV)

This saying of Jesus is not about consumption, it’s about conservation of the liquid.
In this analogy, Jesus is focusing our attention on what is essential (the wine), and what is only useful, but not vital (the wineskins).
Who needs wineskins if there is no wine?
“We are the choices we have made.” Meryl Streep
“The work of Jesus was to reveal the character of the Father, and to unfold the truth which He Himself had spoken through prophets and apostles; but there was found no place for the truth in those wise and prudent men. Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, had to pass by the self-righteous Pharisees, and take his disciples from unlearned fishers and men of humble rank. These who had never been to the rabbis, who had never sat in the schools of the prophets, who had not been members of the Sanhedrin, whose hearts were not bound about with their own ideas,--these He took and educated for His own use. He could make them as new bottles for the new wine of His kingdom. These were the babes to whom the Father could reveal spiritual things; but the priests and rulers, the scribes and Pharisees, who claimed to be the depositaries of knowledge, could give no room for the principles of Christianity, afterward taught by the apostles of Christ. The chain of truth, link after link, was given to those who realized their own ignorance, and were willing to learn of the great Teacher.
     Jesus knew that He could do the scribes and Pharisees no good, unless they would empty themselves of self-importance. He chose new bottles for His new wine of doctrine, and made fishermen and unlearned believers the heralds of His truth to the world. And yet, though His doctrine seemed new to the people, it was in fact not a new doctrine, but the revelation of the significance of that which had been taught from the beginning. It was His design that His disciples should take the plain, unadulterated truth for the guide of their life. They were not to add to His words, or give a forced meaning to His utterances. They were not to put a mystical interpretation upon the plain teaching of the Scriptures, and draw from theological stores to build up some man-made theory. It was through putting a mystical meaning upon the plain words of God, that sacred and vital truths were made of little significance, while the theories of men were made prominent. It was in this way that men were led to teach for doctrines the commandments of men, and that they rejected the commandment of God, that they might keep their own tradition (RH June 2, 1896).”  {5BC 1088, 1089}
“Jesus came to impart to the human soul the Holy Spirit, by which the love of God is shed abroad in the heart; but it is impossible to endow men with the Holy Spirit, who are set in their ideas, whose doctrines are all stereotyped and unchangeable, who are walking after the traditions and commandments of men, as were the Jews in the time of Christ. They were very punctilious in the observances of the church, very rigorous in following their forms, but they were destitute of vitality and religious devotion. They were represented by Christ as like the dry skins which were then used as bottles. The gospel of Christ could not be placed in their hearts; for there was no room to contain it. They could not be the new bottles into which He could pour His new wine. Christ was obliged to seek elsewhere than among the scribes and the Pharisees for bottles for His doctrine of truth and life. He must find men who were willing to have regeneration of heart. He came to give to men new hearts. He said, ‘A new heart also will I give you.’ But the self-righteous of that day and of this day feel no need of having a new heart. Jesus passed by the scribes and the Pharisees, for they felt no need of a Saviour. They were wedded to forms and ceremonies.” {1SM 386}
Wine here represents what is timeless, eternal, “the Gospel”.
Revelation 14:6 speaks of ‘the everlasting Gospel”.
Peter speaks of “present truth” (2Peter 1:12).
As wineskins age, they get thicker and more brittle, they stop being flexible.
Jesus was just too lively and bubbly for those crusty old Pharisees!
“Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. And the Pharisees said to Him, ‘Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?’” (Mark 2:23-24 NKJV)  
Y aconteció que pasando él por los sembrados en sábado, sus discípulos andando comenzaron á arrancar espigas. Entonces los Fariseos le dijeron: He aquí, ¿por qué hacen en sábado lo que no es lícito? (Marcos 2:23-24 SRV)

“Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, ‘Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.’” (Matthew 15:1-2 NKJV)
ENTONCES llegaron á Jesús ciertos escribas y Fariseos de Jerusalem, diciendo: ¿Por qué tus discípulos traspasan la tradición de los ancianos? porque no se lavan las manos cuando comen pan. (Mateo 15:1-2 SRV)

“And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, ‘Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’” (Luke 5:30 NKJV)
Y los escribas y los Fariseos murmuraban contra sus discípulos, diciendo: ¿Por qué coméis y bebéis con los publicanos y pecadores? (Lucas 5:30 SRV)

3 strikes and you’re out!
On the cross they nailed Him.
Now, they could return to their old wineskins of human traditions, thinking that they would be safe from His troublesome teachings.
But through the risen Christ, His followers found “a new and living way” (Hebrews 10:20).
Emerging from the cocoon of fear and intimidation, these believers turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6).

We have to say that Jesus had a tremendous ability to handle criticism.
Michelangelo was unsurpassed as an artistic genius. But he was only an ordinary man in his resentment of criticism. He was commissioned by the pope to make the paintings on the walls of the Vatican Chapel and, with a strange lack of taste, included several undraped figures in his pictures.
Biagio, the papal master of ceremonies, criticized them as inappropriate for a place of worship and asked that they be changed. Michelangelo’s reply was to paint another figure on the wall—one of Biagio with horns, a serpent twined about his waist while he writhed in eternal torment.
Biagio appealed to the pope, but the latter jokingly said: “Had the painter sent you to purgatory, I might have used my influence to get you out, but I have no power in hell.”
And so the picture of the horned and snake-entwined priest remains on the chapel wall because a great artist was not a big enough man to take criticism without getting mad.

Christ’s mission and message lived out through His followers will:
1. Put an end to the sacrificial system.
The Lamb of God.
2. Challenge the hierarchical system of spiritual authority in Israel, teaching the priesthood of all believers (1Peter 2:9).
3. Combat the self-righteous spirit that caused many Jews to look down on “the people of the land” (Nehemiah 10:30), the Samaritans.
4. Challenge legalism.

“During the afternoon, I (Wilbur M. Smith) asked Dr. Klausner (professor in the Hebrew University in Jerusalem) if he would sign my autograph album to which he replied, ‘No, I am sorry; but it is the Sabbath.’ I did not know until I made inquiry that night that the Talmud asserts that writing two words in succession is work, and if a man even signs his name on the Sabbath he has broken the Law.
As those of us gathered in his study discussing one subject after another, Dr. Klausner would climb a little stepladder and bring down some heavy tome from his shelves, open it, point to some relevant passage, then return the book and soon take down another. The Talmud says nothing about bringing down books from shelves as work—to write two words would be labor, but to develop a perspiration by reaching up for volumes and vigorously discussing them is not work!
This is a perfect illustration of what our Lord meant when he talked about his contemporaries ‘holding the tradition of the elders.’ (Mark 7:3)”

Human rules can be insane!
In Sardinia, Italy, Mario Mamelli went to the city hall for a new identity card. He was told that he had been officially dead for 19 years and that, by remaining alive, he was breaking the law.

In the Middle Ages, among the Italian Alps and southern France, again there were believers who boldly took people back to the Bible and spoke against church traditions, though they had to face the Inquisitors.
John Wycliffe, John Huss, Martin Luther chose to preserve the wine and discard the old traditional wineskins.
“The Bible is for the government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” John Wycliff
When the martyr, John Huss was to be burned at the stake, a paper crown with painted devils was put on him.
He declared, “My Lord Jesus Christ, for my sake, wore a crown of thorns: why should I not wear, for His sake, this light crown, be it ever so ignominious?”
Then the bishops said, “Now we commit thy soul to the Devil.”
“But I,” said Huss, lifting his eyes to heaven, “do commit my spirit into thy hands, O Lord Jesus Christ!”

Martin Luther said, “I study my Bible as I gather apples. First, I shake the whole tree that the ripest might fall. Then I shake each limb, and when I have shaken each limb, I shake each branch and every twig. Then I look under every leaf. I search the Bible as a whole like shaking the whole tree. Then I shake every limb—study book after book. Then I shake every branch, giving attention to the chapters when they do not break the sense. Then I shake every twig, or a careful study of the paragraphs and sentences and words and their meanings.”

Other books were given for our information. The Bible was given for our transformation.
“I always have said, and always will say, that the studious perusal of the sacred Volume will make better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands.” Thomas Jefferson

“Yet Charles had deliberately rejected the truths presented by Luther. ‘I am firmly resolved to imitate the example of my ancestors,’ wrote the monarch.--D’Aubigne, b. 7, ch. 9. He had decided that he would not step out of the path of custom, even to walk in the ways of truth and righteousness. Because his fathers did, he would uphold the papacy, with all its cruelty and corruption. Thus he took his position, refusing to accept any light in advance of what his fathers had received, or to perform any duty that they had not performed.” {GC 163, 164}

“As a boy in the middle west, I use to amuse myself by holding a stick across a gateway that the sheep had to pass through. After the first few sheep had jumped over the stick, I took it away; but all the other sheep leaped through the gateway over an imaginary barrier. The only reason for their jumping was that those in front had jumped. The sheep is not the only animal with that tendency. Almost all of us believe what others are believing.” Dale Carnegie

The custom of a newly-married couple leaving relatives and friends behind to go away by themselves for a time following their wedding is not of modern origin. In fact the honeymoon seems to have had its beginning, as well as the origin to its title, in early Babylon.
A couple who were married in that day went immediately to their future home, and friends then smeared the outside of it literally with honey. Then for twenty-eight days, or for one full moon, the nuptial couple remained in their “honeymoon” cottage.

William Miller, and people who listened to him studied the three angels’ message and were condemned for fanaticism.
“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth--to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people-- saying with a loud voice, ‘Fear God and give glory to Him, for the hour of His judgment has come; and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water.’ And another angel followed, saying, ‘Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.’ Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, ‘If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.’” (Revelation 14:6-10 NKJV)
Y vi otro ángel volar por en medio del cielo, que tenía el evangelio eterno para predicarlo á los que moran en la tierra, y á toda nación y tribu y lengua y pueblo, Diciendo en alta voz: Temed á Dios, y dadle honra; porque la hora de su juicio es venida; y adorad á aquel que ha hecho el cielo y la tierra y el mar y las fuentes de las aguas. Y otro ángel le siguió, diciendo: Ha caído, ha caído Babilonia, aquella grande ciudad, porque ella ha dado á beber á todas las naciones del vino del furor de su fornicación. Y el tercer ángel los siguió, diciendo en alta voz: Si alguno adora á la bestia y á su imagen, y toma la señal en su frente, ó en su mano, Este también beberá del vino de la ira de Dios, el cual está echado puro en el cáliz de su ira; y será atormentado con fuego y azufre delante de los santos ángeles, y delante del Cordero: (Apocalipsis 14:6-10 SRV)

Those who actually study the book of Revelation are deemed “a cult.”

Is it possible that we, as a people, could make the same mistake of focusing on wineskins, the non-essentials and fall into in-fighting?

Some will feel that we shouldn’t return our Tithe because the Conference leaders are not what they should be, or, they may misappropriate the funds.
“‘For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, And people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But you have departed from the way; You have caused many to stumble at the law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,’ Says the LORD of hosts. ‘Therefore I also have made you contemptible and base Before all the people, Because you have not kept My ways But have shown partiality in the law. Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously with one another By profaning the covenant of the fathers? Judah has dealt treacherously, And an abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem, For Judah has profaned The LORD'S holy institution which He loves: He has married the daughter of a foreign god. May the LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob The man who does this, being awake and aware, Yet who brings an offering to the LORD of hosts! And this is the second thing you do: You cover the altar of the LORD with tears, With weeping and crying; So He does not regard the offering anymore, Nor receive it with goodwill from your hands.’ Yet you say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the LORD has been witness Between you and the wife of your youth, With whom you have dealt treacherously; Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant. But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth. For the LORD God of Israel says That He hates divorce, For it covers one's garment with violence,’ Says the LORD of hosts. Therefore take heed to your spirit, That you do not deal treacherously.” (Malachi 2:7-16 NKJV)
Porque los labios de los sacerdotes han de guardar la sabiduría, y de su boca buscarán la ley; porque mensajero es de Jehová de los ejércitos. Mas vosotros os habéis apartado del camino; habéis hecho tropezar á muchos en la ley; habéis corrompido el pacto de Leví, dice Jehová de los ejércitos. Por tanto, yo también os torné viles y bajos á todo el pueblo, según que vosotros no habéis guardado mis caminos, y en la ley tenéis acepción de personas. ¿No tenemos todos un mismo padre? ¿No nos ha criado un mismo Dios? ¿Por qué menospreciaremos cada uno á su hermano, quebrantando el pacto de nuestros padres? Prevaricó Judá, y en Israel y en Jerusalem ha sido cometida abominación; porque Judá ha profanado la santidad de Jehová que amó, y casádose con hija de dios extraño. Jehová talará de las tiendas de Jacob al hombre que hiciere esto, al que vela, y al que responde, y al que ofrece presente á Jehová de los ejércitos. Y esta otra vez haréis cubrir el altar de Jehová de lágrimas, de llanto, y de clamor; así que no miraré más á presente, para aceptarlo con gusto de vuestra mano. Mas diréis: ¿Por qué? Porque Jehová ha atestiguado entre ti y la mujer de tu mocedad, contra la cual tú has sido desleal, siendo ella tu compañera, y la mujer de tu pacto. Pues qué ¿no hizo él uno solo aunque tenía la abundancia del espíritu? ¿Y por qué uno? Para que procurara una simiente de Dios. Guardaos pues en vuestros espíritus, y contra la mujer de vuestra mocedad no seáis desleales. Porque Jehová Dios de Israel ha dicho que él aborrece que sea repudiada; y cubra la iniquidad con su vestido, dijo Jehová de los ejércitos. Guardaos pues en vuestros espíritus, y no seáis desleales. (Malaquías 2:7-16 SRV)

“‘For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,’ Says the LORD of hosts. But you said, “In what way shall we return?” ‘Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, “In what way have we robbed You?”  In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,’ Says the LORD of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,’ Says the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:6-11 NKJV)
Porque yo Jehová, no me mudo; y así vosotros, hijos de Jacob, no habéis sido consumidos. Desde los días de vuestros padres os habéis apartado de mis leyes, y no las guardasteis. Tornaos á mí, y yo me tornaré á vosotros, ha dicho Jehová de los ejércitos. Mas dijisteis: ¿En qué hemos de tornar? ¿Robará el hombre á Dios? Pues vosotros me habéis robado. Y dijisteis: ¿En qué te hemos robado? Los diezmos y las primicias. Malditos sois con maldición, porque vosotros, la nación toda, me habéis robado. Traed todos los diezmos al alfolí, y haya alimento en mi casa; y probadme ahora en esto, dice Jehová de los ejércitos, si no os abriré las ventanas de los cielos, y vaciaré sobre vosotros bendición hasta que sobreabunde. Increparé también por vosotros al devorador, y no os corromperá el fruto de la tierra; ni vuestra vid en el campo abortará, dice Jehová de los ejércitos. (Malaquías 3:6-11 SRV)
May the Lord help us to learn precious lessons so that we will never hear the judgment, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.” (Matthew 23:23-25 NKJV)
¡Ay de vosotros, escribas y Fariseos, hipócritas! porque diezmáis la menta y el eneldo y el comino, y dejasteis lo que es lo más grave de la ley, es á saber, el juicio y la misericordia y la fe: esto era menester hacer, y no dejar lo otro. ¡Guías ciegos, que coláis el mosquito, mas tragáis el camello! ¡Ay de vosotros, escribas y Fariseos, hipócritas! porque limpiais lo que está de fuera del vaso y del plato; mas de dentro están llenos de robo y de injusticia. (Mateo 23:23-25 SRV)
We are entering a new year, and this year will bring changes and adjustments to the San Diego Clairemont SDA Church, may the Lord help to learn to ever follow His lead. That is our only safe path.
May God richly bless you, one and all.

Pastor Richard Parent

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