Ron Dart 2000 Sermons

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0001 Isaiah At 2000
Given January 1, 2000. Y2K problem and crying wolf. Thorough examination of Isaiah 55-58, both contemporary and end-time. Conversion of gentiles and their access to God both Old Testament and New Testament and its repeated reference in Isaiah. Dart's study on evangelistic ministries and the responsibilities of shepherds. Pessimism of this degrading society vs optimism of God's way of life and His kingdom. Partial-birth abortion. "The Lost Children of Rockdale County" video. We are the ones who create the distance between us and God. The great hope of the Redeemer.
0002 So Great a Salvation
Dart examines the origins of man and the destiny of man. Man alone was made in God's image; he alone can have a relationship with God; he alone has dominion over "everything". Man was created for a special purpose. God grants incredible liberty to us. Jesus doesn't exercise authority by tyranny and oppression, but rather by loving kindness and service. So should His followers live a life of harmony, peace, love, joy, mercy and compassion. Will we be a finished product at the resurrection? Or will we continue to grow? God will eventually place all things under man. But if Jesus did not achieve Sonship without suffering, why should we escape? As Jesus struggled, suffered, overcame and grew, that is our course as well.
0004 A Threat to the Faith
What is the greatest threat to the Christian today? Persecution? No. Christianity often thrives under persecution. "The greatest threat to the Christian faith is the incredible wealth we find in this country." Wealth is clearly not wrong. How then, is it a threat? Apathy. Wrong priorities. The solution may be persecution, "gold tried in the fire". When struck with this, what should we do? Proverbs 30:7-9.
0006 The Last 10 Words
Utter destruction is in our future unless . . .
Dart discusses Elijah-to-come in Malachi, Matthew, and Revelation. Type and antitype. A discussion on Elijah and manhood. Dart admonishes men to be men and fathers to be fathers and encourages a culture that will support that.
0008 In All Points
Given January 19, 2000 at the Big Sandy Church of God. Why did Jesus have to suffer? This sermon goes beyond the 1987 sermon on that subject. It was necessary for Him to be betrayed. To have promises broken. To have the sentence of death. To face the cold fear of death, pain, suffering, even though He knew the end. People lie about us. They make false accusations. We have been denied by a friend, humiliated, tortured, crucified, God-forsaken, faced death. Jesus tells us that we should be prepared to endure all these things ourselves for one another, as He did for us. Enduring these things changes us forever, creating the character that God has an eternal purpose for. Jesus was tested/tempted in all points as we are. This is critical to His role as high priest. Other subjects: How did Jesus learn obedience? How did He become perfect? Jesus could have ended His suffering at any time, but He didn’t. Was it possible for Jesus to sin?
0009 Understanding Evil #3
Why did God send an "evil" spirit to trouble King Saul? Why did He send a "lying" spirit to King Ahab? Dart explains the meaning of the Hebrew word for evil, discusses the stories of these men and concludes that, while God is merciful and longsuffering, there is a point of no return.
0012 Finding Inspiration
Recognizing that the Bible is the true source of inspiration, do we discount other sources because of our doctrinal differences? Do we tremble at the Word of God? Or is it common?
0014 While It's Today
We long to know the end from the beginning, but have only a dim view. Dart examines Ecclesiastes to really expose the important things in living this life. Too often, we get distracted with the unimportant things. It is a question of how you live your life today. "Chances are, you'll live your life tomorrow just like you live it today." If a change is ever going to be made, it's going to be made now, today.
0019 The Devil and the Useful Idiot
How does the devil influence the behavior of ordinary people? Dart talked of this nation's enemies influencing useful idiots to accomplish their purpose. People with weaknesses are vulnerable to being provoked, thus the need to strengthen one another. Do we make ourselves vulnerable to those who will tell us what we want to hear? Where are we vulnerable? You can't con a righteous man. How much of a crack does Satan need? Also, how does one explain the lying angel commissioned by God? Forgiveness, truth, and honesty are the weapons that fight this battle. If we fight others in the church, we are fighting the wrong battle. The servant of the Lord must not strive. Humility is the great defense. Dart provides much advice on resisting the devil and his agents.
0021 Hard to Pray
If you ever have trouble praying, you are not alone. Dart goes through many reasons why this happens (unworthiness, distractions, procrastination, fear, timidity, pride) and what can be done about it (tenacity, boldness, energy, shamelessness). Excellent lessons from the parables. Multiple, powerful Biblical examples of how, without persistent, shameless, bold pleadings, there would have been no answer to prayer.
0023 Who Killed Christ?
Who killed Jesus? Surely it was the Jews. No, wait, it was the Romans. Judas? The chief priests? The elders? The council? Dart goes through the betrayal, arrest, interrogation, trial, and crucifixion, examining clues. Once again, Dart's excellent narration skills are put to good use. So, maybe it was us who killed Him with our sins? Listen for the most-interesting conclusion.
0026 Why I Keep the Sabbath
If you want to remain Sunday keeper, don’t listen to this sermon! Dart addresses arguments against, and scriptures in favor of Sabbath keeping. Subjects: When was the Sabbath made? Definition of holy. Is the Sabbath for gentiles, too? Can you choose which day to keep as a Sabbath? How Jesus confirmed the Sabbath. What is the Lord’s Day? Sabbath keeping by the New Testament Gentile churches. Sabbath keeping in the millennium. Israel was shown that they must all keep the same day and it was God who decided which day. Genesis is not so much a book of laws as it is a book of history. Conclusion: The Sabbath was made for man, not just the pre-Christian man, and will exist at least as long as man exists.
0028 A Commitment to Trust
Developing Godly character is not painless. Trials are part of the process. There is a difference between doubt and unbelief. Faith is a commitment to trust God no matter what and is expressed by our actions. This kind of faith can exist without wavering. Why strife, contentions, and wrath are wrong. Just because we have ready access to the Bible is no excuse for not writing it on our heart, internalizing the scriptures.
0030 Led By the Spirit
Why are there different organizations in God's church? How does the Spirit lead? It does not get in our face, but uses a still, small voice. Why? Because driving with a whip fosters immaturity. God wants us to choose. What is quenching and grieving the Spirit? The Holy Spirit does not take us all down the same road at the same time. Examples: LifeNets, Victor Kubik, Legacy Institute, and the United Church of God's recognition and supplemental support of these and other "parachurch" ministries. Freedom is important if we are to respond as the Spirit leads. 1 Corinthians 12 says "different administrations" (different ministries) and "different activities", but one God.
0032 The Wrath of God
Why did God see it necessary to kill the first born of the Egyptians? Dart narrates the story of Israel in Egypt and shows the clear reason. God is a God of justice. He will not just stand by and let evils take place. Dart brings up the horrors of partial-birth abortion. He gives an excellent explanation on how God hardened Pharaoh's heart. Without justice there is only evil continually. Was the Civil War similar justice? What kind of justice will be exacted as we approach the end times? A very sobering message.
0034 The Objective of the Law
Why was the law given? What is its purpose? It was not given so there would be sin, requiring us to repent. No, the law was given to prevent sin. Why? Because sin is destructive to our lives, those around us, our community, and the law exists to tell us not to be destructive. Since the law was law given because it was good for us, why would God do away with it? Did God change? Has man changed? The law is intended to keep us from being reproached. It advises. It gives us liberty. Good judgment. Understanding. Peace. Why would anyone want to do away with the law? "The law of God is the secret to mastering life." Legalism is technically the thought that one can gain salvation by law-keeping. But salvation is not the purpose of the law. It leads us to Jesus Christ. It endures forever, every jot and tittle. Unfortunately, it has often been used by men to control people. Grace is not the opposite of the law, it does not void the law; it gives exceptions to the law. The role of the Old Testament for the Christian. The testimony of God is the Ten Commandments.
0035 A Stage 7 Church
Dart extracts 9 mission statements for a church from the book of Ephesians. He talks about the growth of a church, comparing it to the growth of a child; different stages, different motivations, different activities. How a church can achieve maturity. How a church should function. This message is a look at Ephesians that is quite different from most other messages one will hear on the book of Ephesians. Insightful and instructive.
0038 Where the Spirit Leads
Acts 10 discussion, especially concerning the role of the Holy Spirit. (Unclean meats also discussed.) Acts 2 and the role of the Holy Spirit. Here, too, the spirit leads, but we must act or it is useless. The spirit will also correct us. Prayer and bold action are critical. Making mistakes isn’t wrong, what’s wrong is not learning from them. Corrections are part of the Christian life. Ask for correction! Why pray? Because God has given us the dignity of making a difference, or not. This is why the Holy Spirit leads and does not drive, as God gives us the dignity of being part of our own creation.
0040 Feast of Trumpets 2000
Trumpets is a memorial of what? Dart has suggestions. Also, a feast of "cheering" is more applicable than "shouting". Trumpets looks forward to the coronation of Jesus Christ as King of the earth, but also celebrates our personal coronation of Jesus Christ as our personal King and Ruler of each of us individually. Includes interesting, and even surprising historical Jewish insights. The last 5 minutes are so exhilarating and inspirational, they should be listened to by every person in the church of God.
0044 Daniel and the Palestinians
Two purposes of prophecy - 1) not to know detailed events in advance, but to know they're coming, and to prepare spiritually for them, 2) to see God's hand as they occur. Dart goes through a detailed account of the latter chapters of Daniel. He does it in a backwards manner, in order to emphasize the end-times rather than events that have already occurred. He weaves in Matthew and Revelation prophecies with the intent that we will know the scriptures and apply them as events come to pass.
0047 Thankful for Freedom
0049 A Constitution in Crisis
0051 The Fourth Commandment
0053 The Culture of Prayer
When there are problems in the church, emphasis needs to be on the inward man, specifically, prayer. We are dramatically different from the early church in prayer. They had specific times and places to pray. We are much more ad hoc. There are few things the Christian is called on to do that are easier than prayer, and few things that are easier to neglect than prayer. Thus, a discipline of prayer is necessary, else it will fall by the wayside.
00ABW The Art of Being Wrong
00APT A Personal Testimony
Dart tells his own personal testimony of what brought him to leave the Worldwide Church of God in 1978. He shares his experiences that may be of value to the listener. Includes: Conflicting authorities; “the church” vs “The Worldwide Church of God”; “In the church” vs “in the faith”; coming into the faith, where our commitment really is.
00C1 Idea of Covenant
Dart gives an overview of what a covenant is. There are subtle nuances in the Hebrew word, as illustrated in different covenants -- with Noah, Abraham, Isaac. Synonyms of covenant. To “cut” a covenant. In these cases, covenants are about establishing a relationship. The role blood often plays in a covenant. One important result of a covenant is to establish a relationship where there wasn't one before. Also, why, in spite of God's covenant with Abraham, Gentiles did not have to be circumcised.
00C2 The Obligations of Covenant
Covenants create and define relationships and usually entail obligations from both parties. Abraham was to be a blessing to all nations. Was he obligated to act accordingly? Or could he just do as pleased and the blessings would come anyway? What were Israel's obligations? What are the church's obligations? Our personal obligations?
00C3 Testimony of Covenants
There is a surprising preponderance of the word testimony in the Bible. Dart explores its use, asking, "What is the book of the covenant?" and "What laws are in it?". And he makes strong statements about "testimony": "Ark of the testimony is more commonly used than ark of the covenant." "The Ten Commandments are the testimony of God and God's testimony is always true and can never be false." "The testimony of God is the truth about the way things are; the foundation of every ethical principle."
00C4 Book of the Covenant
Law is distinct from a covenant, as Texas law is distinct from a real estate contract. Doing away with the covenant does nothing to the law. Abrahamic covenant and the deliverance of Israel from Egypt. A system of law was in place before the Abrahamic Covenant. Extensive discussion on the covenant between God and Israel and how it is different from the Abrahamic Covenant. Terms of covenants (including New Covenant disciples with Jesus). Exodus 20-23 is the book of the covenant; the following verses address administration of those laws. Commandments are the foundation; judgments are the application of the commandments to a situation. The Ten Commandments are like the constitution, subsequent laws are like the amendments.
00C5 Administration of Covenant
When a covenant is communal, there must be a means of administering it. When there is a new covenant, there is a new administration, similar to a new United States presidency which brings in a new way to administer the SAME laws. The old covenant had civil penalties, but it is not the obligation of the church to enforce the law of God. Judgments are the applicaion of the law by either God or the judges. Our application of the law and judgments should not be based in legalism or literalism, but with the intent to please God, administering the same law by applying the spirit of the law in mercy.

Webmaster note: Dart is about to comment on the Exodus 18 hierarchy when the recording seems to be edited out. This occurs at 31:30 and is not at the end of side 1 of the original tape (which occurs at 29:30). I have no explanation of this gap; neither do I know Dart's position on this scripture from other sermons.
00CFA A Covenant For Africa
Dart looks at the horrors of the AIDS virus in Africa, and how the entire disaster could have been avoided with adherence to the Old Testament laws of God. He notes that the blessings and cursings are not a result of God's attempt to control people, and rewarding or smiting accordingly. Rather, God knows the inherent dangers and the natural consequences of man's behavior, and provides the law and warns of the good or bad consequences for the benefit of men; out of wanting the best for man. What about the laws that are "just ceremonial"? Are they really "Old Testament" laws? Are the laws just arbitrary? Or do they have a purpose? "What Africa needs is a strong dose of the Old Covenant."
00DG Doing Good
00F1 For My Eyes Have Seen Your Salvation
Looking at Biblical evidence, Dart concludes "We have a high degree of certainty that Jesus was born in the 7th month of the Hebrew calendar" and further states the likely conclusion that He was born on the opening night of the Feast of Tabernacles. Who do the angels announce the birth to? "Let's celebrate the birth of our savior".
00F2 The Investment
People who are closer to death may pray “thy kingdom come” more fervently than the rest of us. Having lost nearly everything of this world, they are fully invested in the coming kingdom. Even Abraham, who was given tremendous physical promises, never received them, but invested himself in the kingdom of God. Are we too invested in this world? The rich young man kept all the commandments and Jesus loved him, yet he didn’t follow Jesus because he was too entwined with this world. Those who give up things to follow Jesus will be rewarded many times over. Where is your treasure?
00F7 The Church That Stayed
Why will some churches grow and others languish? What is the church? What is it for? What should the objectives of the church be? What about “floaters”? How and why the church should have a culture of correction. Systematic Bible study. How to serve. What fellowship is. Dart harshly criticizes the policy of people having to get permission to go to church. The increase of the body is an objective. This is a Feast of Tabernacles sermon designed to inspire the local congregation.
00F9 Reunion
00LOM Learn of Me
Why did many disciples leave Jesus when He said, "He who eats My flesh..."? The extreme importance of humility. Even Jesus was incredibly humble, which is amazing given Who He was. Dart examines the large number of teachings by Jesus on humility. He discusses strivings for power in the gospel accounts. It is important to suffer enough so that you will never impose that on others, even to the point of not seeking authority. The authority, power, and riches can be ours, but only if we practice humility.
00MBO That They May Be One
We are not all equal; we are all quite different. Yet we are to be one, so we might accomplish more together than each of us could do separately. Gifts are given by God to that end. We're one because we fit together. Like a jigsaw puzzle, with a lot of work, slowly and carefully, the pieces connect to each other, and become one. A storm may blow away unattached pieces, but those attached remain. Dart speaks on the 1 Corinthian 12 and Ephesians 4 structure of the church. Dart believes this principle applies to the local church, the most basic building block used by God; where people are nurtured and come together. Thus, attendance is important. Dart discusses Biblical leadership that can lead, not to conformity, but to unity that comes from growth together.
00NMP No More Prophets?
The prophets are sent with a warning. Nineveh listened, Judah did not. There will be the two witnesses at the time of the end. Might there be a prophet before then? Dart explores the scriptures, specifically the parables of the sower and the seed plus Lazarus and the rich man, notes the purpose of these parables, and draws a conclusion. Dart speaks for 31 minutes, then conducts a Q&A session for 37 minutes. These sessions are not unusual in his non-sermon presentations, but it is unusual for CEM to distribute them. In it, he addresses questions about "the end of the law" and "sacred names", among others.
00PEN Pentecost 2000
Dart discusses the traditional Church of God view of the meaning of the holy days. They have been valuable in helping many to understand the plan of God, but there is more to them. We need not be restricted to these traditions. For instance, why does Peter, in Acts 2 on Pentecost, discuss the end-time prophecy of Joel? What does that have to do with Pentecost? Dart explores Joel in the end-time context of the Feast of Firstfruits.
00SWC Should We Care?
Dart looks at our society, especially in light of the disputed 2000 presidential election, and asks whether we should care about societal issues. After all, this isn't God's world, right? Dart talks of his experiment to read the strong Biblical condemnations on his radio show and see what results. The only power to trust is God. There is chaos and confusion throughout our government. Corrupt leaders, materialistic societies. Yet, all shall be made low. Dart goes through Psalms, makes observations, and looks at results, prophecies, instruction. He cites condition after condition that is common to man and society and answers "should we care?"
00TLS The Land Speaks
How does blood defile the land? Why does the land mourn? When the Bible speak of this, what does it mean? Dart explores the sinful causes of the land being cursed and relates it to the immorality in today's society. What is the role of the church leaders in this? Of the civil leaders? How can the Christian survive in such an environment? God may be silent, but the prophets are not. And, the land speaks.
00ULB Unleavened Bread - The Basics
Why do we eat Unleavened Bread for 7 days? Dart looks primarily at the Passover in Egypt. Pharaoh, the plagues, the timing of the Passover sacrifice, the Passover meal, "morning", the departure from Egypt, "Night To Be Much Observed", the New Testament Passover, Gentile participation. Must we eat unleavened bread? Or just abstain from leavened bread? Dart also makes a good point on the calendar, and does it all in his easy-to-listen-to style.
00VFC A Vision for the Church
What we believe and know to be true is important, but a knowledge-based church will eventually divide, as there are so many ideas, and it can only be held together by coercive force. Dart looks at the unity chapters of 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4 and asks, if there is no overt authority to hold the church together, what will? How Christians, led by the holy spirit, work together to do God's work. Why unity cannot be achieved by top-down government, which in fact, can be counterproductive if it thwarts the working of the holy spirit in individuals. Government and organization should be the product of unity, not the creators of it.