Ron Dart 1981 Sermons

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8112 The Quality of Mercy
What is mercy? "The forbearance of doing harm or inflicting punishment, even when justice demands it." Biblical examples of mercy. Speak evil of no man, for I too, need mercy. Love mercy cheerfully! Look for it as an opportunity to give. Pre-Passover sermon.
8115 How Does the Holy Spirit Work?
Study of the Greek words describing the holy spirit as comforter, exhorter, encourager, consoler, advocate. Prophets were inspired by the holy spirit, but not dictated to. The spirit works as Biblical-based conscience. How does it speak to us, lead us? Gifts of the spirit. Relation between Jesus and the holy spirit, specifically why the holy spirit couldn't come until Jesus was glorified.
8117A The Antichrist
Explanation of the antichrists (plural) vs the Antichrist (singular). Why the man of sin may not be the pope, but an evil leader empowered by Satan. Explanations of Daniel 2, Daniel 7, Daniel 8, and Daniel 11 and the 5 kingdoms. Are the 7 times of Daniel 4-5 2520 years leading to 1982 or 7 eras of successive Roman Empires? The 3 uprooted horns of Daniel 7 are end-time, not early occurrences of the 4th beast. The relationship between the Daniel 7 little horn, the man of sin, the antichrist, the king of fierce countenance (Dan 8), Antiochus Epiphanies (type), the little horn of Daniel 8. The little horn of Daniel is destroyed by Christ, but the fallen woman of Revelation 17 is destroyed by the beast. Identities of the king of the north and the king of the south (Daniel 11). Hitler was a model of the vile person in Daniel 11. Daniel 11 prophecy seems to require a civil ruler and a religious ruler, but the historical fulfillment saw only a civil leader. The abomination of desolation. The apostate church of Revelation 17. The mark of the beast. The number of the beast. The right hand and the forehead. The mark of the beast must be economic and religious, and possibly requires a membership in an organization. The 2 beasts of Revelation 13, one of whom appears to be Christian. Herbert Armstrong’s teachings are mentioned. Image of the beast was explained by Herman Hoeh in 1952 as the papacy taking the same form of government as civil Rome. Dart comments that this is interesting given the current (1981) form of government in Hoeh’s Worldwide Church of God.
8122 Humanism
Humanism is the belief that man can attain perfection without God. Just how much are we dependent on God? What is up to me? What do I put in God's hands? Cursed is the man who trusts in man; the heart is deceitful above all things. Many try to earn their own salvation, yet we are without strength and we are saved by Christ alone. Changing the nature of man is what Christianity is all about, totally contrary to humanism. In my flesh (in my humanity) dwells no good thing. Comparison of English revolution based on religious reformation vs French revolution based on humanist enlightenment. Human leadership leads to either repression or anarchy. The New Testament example is Christ-based leadership where humility before God is the key governing principle.
8124 Understanding Tongues
The purpose of tongues in Acts 2 is for human-to-human communication. Difference between known tongues and unknown tongues. Paul’s conclusion is that tongues are self-serving unless they edify the hearers. Tongues were to hide the truth from unbelievers in the same way as parables. The role and necessity of interpreters. While tongues can be not of God, Paul never attributes them to Satan.
8127 Laborers for the Harvest
“Minister” means servant, as in a household servant – no honor, no glory, no credit. Gifts of service are distributed among us for this service but are worthless without agape love. Dart speaks on the common public perception of the glorified duties of a minister and notes that many people strive for that glory and honor of a ministry, but ought rather strive for the menial, lowly, humble tasks.
8129 Abomination of Desolation
Analysis of Daniel's prophecies, Revelation 13, Matthew 24. While Antiochus Epiphanes was a historical type, the Abomination of Desolation spoken of by Jesus (and therefore Daniel) is yet future. Subjects: Babylon past and future; What is the Beast; Image of the beast; Mark of the beast; 666; Right hand and forehead; How to prepare and defend self for the times to come. (This sermon is also on the 1986 page.)
8138 Are You a Theologian?
We have our own theologies, whether we know it or not. Topics discussed at length: The doctrine of hell; The abolition of the law; Distinctions between different sets of laws; The rejection of Israel; The proper use of proof texts. Theological maturity is able to reconcile the goodness of God with the severity of God. Do we say "I don't think God expects me to..." and adjust our theology? Theology is the foundation -- don't adjust it based on doctrines (like heaven/hell) or proof texts.
8142 Spiritual Growth
Is there such a thing as an inferior Christian? There are degrees of maturity and obedience. We are called according to God’s will. Do we grow according to God’s will? Or do I have something to do with my growth? What about choices to pray? To fast? To study? To obey? Why does God allow us to so easily see the sins and weaknesses of others? The prospect of becoming perfect may be overwhelming, but can I do the right thing at this moment? Helpful admonitions for spiritual growth from the seven churches of Revelation. Labor, travail, work, struggle are necessary to overcome and grow spiritually.
8143 The Hidden Sin
An outstanding sermon on self-righteousness. What if we really are better than another? Are we not a sinner, like every other man? Do we exalt ourselves because we are less of a sinner? Being truly righteous depends only on the justification from Jesus Christ, not our own self-opinion. Do you find it hard to say “I don’t know”? Do you give advice when not asked? Compassion is the key to keep you from hurting people, judging, condemning, accusing people. After all the compassion and forgiveness we’ve received, how can we be anything but liberal in extending it to others?
81F7 Beyond Adversity
Job, Steven and Paul all suffered. Why? Human greatness cannot be accomplished without some adversity or challenge. Generosity is enhanced when done out of poverty. The accomplishment of the handicapped is enhanced because of their handicap. The value of overcoming. Excellent narrative of Jeremiah, his prophecies, his struggles, and his greatness. Even Jesus learned from what he suffered and was made complete. What He experienced, suffered, overcame, made Him more perfect.
1) Without fear, there is no courage
2) Without adversity, there is no greatness
3) The Holy Spirit speak through the struggles of God’s people
4) What you do in Christ makes a difference. No sacrifice made for God is ever in vain
5) Even Jesus was made perfect through suffering
6) You are in a tabernacle – any suffering is temporary
7) Will you, like Job, serve God for nothing?
8) Every man has the capacity for greatness; will you flee your opportunity?
81F8 The Hope of Mankind
What is the fate of non-Christians who die? What about all men? What if they're children? Is there an age of accountability? Dart confronts these questions head on. The horrors of hell. Does man have an immortal soul? The spirit in man sets him above the animals. What is the nature of this spirit? "Everyone who ever lived will live again." Dart explains the resurrections and how the Bible is the greatest book of hope for all mankind. An excellent, inspiring, hope-filled message.
81-01-03 John 7 Bible Study
A look at the events of John 7-8, Jesus at the Feast of Tabernacles, the woman taken in adultery. The woman washing Jesus’ fee with tears. Jesus as forgiver. Dart touches on Matthew and Luke as they relate to John’s accounts.
81-02-07 Search Me, Oh God
God wants us to never forget we are vulnerable to sin. Humbling comes from God, not others. Only God has the right to chastise. "The ministry has no right to chastise or punish God's people." Though God searches us and knows us thoroughly, there is no need to be afraid.
81-05-09 Background of Acts
A Bible study on the beginning of the book of Acts. Luke's background in writing both Luke and Acts gives him the perspective of a historian, more than that of a witness. Dart examines Acts 1 and part of Acts 2 looking over many details, including the theme of Acts, the clear teaching that the Holy Days were observed by the early Christian church, and many other interesting points.
81-05-30 Who Then, Will Save Us?
The priest can turn out to be a stumbling block. So, too, can the prophet. The watchman only warns. Who then, can save us? In Ezekiel, some were marked or sealed to be protected. They were not removed, but were among those who were destroyed. The distinction starts at the sanctuary. In the New Testament, Dart shows why those who might escape are no more worthy than those who don't. And, there are those who are not worthy at all. No man can save us, only Jesus Christ. Dart lists the traits that the saved have (and, of course, membership in a particular organization is not one of the traits stated). Given in 1981, this almost certainly was Dart's rebuttal to those who believed that staying in WCG and following HWA would result in their being protected in the tribulation. This lesson applies directly today to those who remain in a group only because they think that group will be taken to the place of safety.
81-06-07 The Meaning of Pentecost
A look at the harvest and its symbolism. Differentiation between harvests is not so much in size, but in the type of crop. Jesus said the harvest is plentiful now. Repeated harvest analogies in the New Testament. Pentecost timing. Prohibition of eating the grain before the wave sheaf is offered parallels no one being resurrected prior to Jesus. Why 2 loaves? Gleaning and 7th year. 3rd year tithe. 6th year tithe. Parallel between 7 weeks to Pentecost on the 50th day and 7 7-year cycles to Jubilee on the 50th year.
81-09-26 The Chosen
With some, God's truth just clicks while others just don't get it. Why does God choose some and not others? Is merit involved? Randomness? why did God choose whom He chose? Why Jacob over Esau? What is our responsibility to preach the gospel given what we know about God's calling? What is our responsibility as the chosen? Subjects: Called; Chosen; Predestination; Sheep not of this fold; Salvation of Israel; Sheep of Jesus.
81-11-21 A Change of Heart
Paul struggled with sins long after his conversion, “Oh, wretched man that I am.” The carnal can keep the law (witness the Pharisees), yet what God wants to see is a change in man’s heart and attitude. When we try to establish our own righteousness, we fail. Dart goes through Romans 8 and how to live by the spirit. After King David sinned, he could fast, sacrifice, observe all the aspects of the law, yet what he needed and asked for was for God to create in him a clean heart. To renew your mind, set your affections on the things above. The carnal mind is full of strife and contention. The spiritual man is full of love and mercy.
1981 Atonement - Why Fast?
What is a fast? Afflict=Fast. Biblical fasts are no food, no water, for the purpose of abject humility. Why is the prohibition against work and food so severe? Biblical examples of fasting and why and what it means for the Christian.
1981 Discern the Lord's Body
Why did Jesus' crucifixion need to be so painful? Why scourging? Why humiliation? Why did the Romans kill him instead of the Jews? It was necessary that Jesus suffer. Why? Because of our iniquity, our pain that he bore. Connection between sin and sickness and Jesus healed both. He interceded for the transgressors and by His stripes we are healed. Healing was huge part of His ministry. God is not the author of sickness, sin is. As Jesus paid the price for sin spiritually, He did physically, too, so that we wouldn't have to. Explanation of taking the Passover unworthily and resultant sickness. Of course it was unjust for Barabbas to be released, yet, I am Barabbas. "That the scripture might be fulfilled" was not only because someone said it, but because this was the way things had to be.
1981 Doctrine of the Trinity
Excellent discussion of the trinity doctrine and its Biblical basis (or lack thereof). Includes: Personification; Noun genders in Greek; Paul's definitions of the nature of God; 1 John 5:7; Mattew 28:19; logical inconsistencies of the holy spirit as a person. The real nature of the holy spirit.
1981 The Holy Spirit
Dart goes through John 16, examining the Greek word “parakletos” and its variants such as comforter, advocate, consolation, exhortation, encouragement. The Holy Spirit is a pressure, a push, a holy “wind”, but is subtle. The Holy Spirit does not possess or dictate. Its subtlety can be quenched. It leads, doesn’t drive. Listen to the spirit, but test it by the Bible. There is a form of communication that takes place with God on a non-verbal level. How does our conscience come into play? How do we communicate with God?
1981 The Immortality of the Soul
Inconsistency of the doctrine of the immortal soul. Definition of the immortal soul. Explanations of verses that would seem to support the immortality of the soul. The incompatibility of the immortal soul and the resurrection. The resurrection gives hope; the immortal soul does not. Are humans both spirit and flesh? Or is the spirit imparted by God to the flesh? Dust-to-dust; his thoughts perish. Everburning hell. Hell as the grave. Man has no pre-eminence over the beasts unless God resurrects. Immortality must be "put on". As a side point, Dart discusses the importance of distinguishing between scriptures that establish belief and those that support it. People who use "support" scriptures as "establish" scriptures can end up with non-biblical beliefs.