Ron Dart 1989 Sermons

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8937 Small Things
"Men fail to do a great work for God because they set out to do a great work for God." They despise the day of small things, tasks they feel are not important enough for them to do. Every great work is made up of small things. God repeatedly works outside of the "organization". The big-thing syndrome can discourage people from trying. But there is no reason why you can't go read the Bible to a blind person. Your kindness, your patience, your letter, your little work will be added to others' as God sees fit. Your best opportunities to do good are often random in your life. You can make a difference in the life of another, and do so in the name of Jesus Christ, if you are aware, thoughtful, and willing to do the small things. Dart gives some steps you can take. Small things lead to other small things that taken all together make a big difference in people's lives.
8946 Feast of Huts
Dart looks at the words for “tabernacles”, “huts”, or “tents”, and where they are used. Is keeping this “Feast of Huts” only for Israel? No. There are NOT two ways of worshipping God, one way for the Jews and one way for the Gentiles. Dart chronicles, dramatically, the tabernacle in ancient Israel, where God “camped” with His people, and the story where the Israelites feared to enter into the promised land. After all that had happened in the year since their departure from Egypt, and they feared. What more would it have taken for them to believe? For them to have faith? They were right on the edge – and failed. . . . an example for all of us. You are going to have to believe, trust, obey. You need faith when you have every reason in the world to be afraid, to believe it’s not going to happen. Faith is not so much a feeling as it is a decision.
89-01-14 Half a Savior
In our zeal to preach Jesus' gospel about the Kingdom of God, have we neglected to speak about Jesus Himself? A Christian may consider himself to be to be "born again" at baptism, but that is not what Jesus and Nicodemus were talking about in John 3. Dart further discusses the resurrection and Jesus our savior. It is easy to forget that Jesus is the Light and we are to love the Light. The gospel Jesus announced is important, but so, too, is the gospel about Jesus Christ.
89-02-25 Why Do People Fight?
The role of lust, envy, pride, and selfish desire in fighting. How to be content. How to avoid fights -- fast, mourn, weep, and ask for help. Be easy to be entreated. Blessed are the peacemakers.
89-03-04 Change or Growth
Entropy leading to disorder is inevitable, without design and power to impose order. So, with change inevitable, how can we direct that change into growth? Dissatisfaction with our life leads to the establishment of goals and objectives you can impose on your mind. Paul provides several things we can and should impose upon ourselves. Letting others be free to impose change upon themselves, we can all combine to grow the church. Change, without a goal, leads to chaos. The ministry has a role in this, also. Use adversity to motivate yourself to impose change. Can you grow in a trial? Or will you let your suffering be in vain?
89-03-11 The Desiccated Christian
Are you burned out? Or are you dried up? Do you feel your prayers are going nowhere? Are you desperately thirsty for God? What do you do? Dart looks at water and oil in the scriptures and how they heal thirst and dryness. What you can do to heal your spiritual life. How you can be comforted and soothed. The Bible is like water that brings forth life and growth. The Sabbath is very important in all this as its intent is for us to spend time communing with God.
89-03-26 Life of Christ 2
What if a new gospel was discovered? Dart explores the idea of the early gospels, how they were propagated, preserved, copied. What if there were discrepancies? How do we know they were inspired? In this Bible study, Dart asks and answers these questions and more in an interesting style that will make you think. Why is there no gospel of Jesus? Why not just one perfect gospel? Discussing these issues is important to build one's defense against attacks on the Bible. In the 2nd half of the study, Dart discusses the birth of Christ and surrounding events, again with interesting insights and commentary.
89-04-08 Half-Way Home
Are we uncomfortable being close to Jesus Christ? Him abiding in us is only half-way there; we must also abide in Him -- go where He leads -- be where He is. This is a pre-Passover sermon. New Testament Passover is very different from Old Testament Passover -- a more excellent ministry (a more excellent administration). New covenant is personal; Old covenant is national. As Israel exulted at their Passover deliverance, so should the Christian. What it means to be in covenant with Jesus. Also discussed - bronze serpent.
89-08-05 How Much Time?
Why does God tell us what will happen? In Abraham's case, so that he might instruct his children. As Jesus said, "That when it comes to pass, you will believe." Prophecy is given not just so we can get out of the way or so we will repent (both are important), but so that when it happens, we can know and understand why. Is specific knowledge of prophetic events and timing what matters? Or is it better to live right by God? The booklet "1975 In Prophecy" is discussed and how the book (and date) took on a life of its own, even though Herbert Armstrong likely never intended to set a date. Mention of Garner Ted Armstrong, Roderick Meredith, Herman Hoeh. A look at the "1975 syndrome" and its affect on church unity, and later on disillusionment leading to dis-unity, and the church's attempts to enforce unity. Prophecy nor doctrine nor authority brings about unity. Love does. In the end, all there really is is love for God and love for others.
89-09-02 Give It Up
There is a cost to being a Christian. Why concern ourselves with the big, material things we might have to give up (house, car), and not give up the small things, including our own rightness, our own ideas, strife, resentment, grudges, hatred, wrath, vengeance? These are the things we will have to abandon to enter the kingdom of God. When looking for something to give up, look for something that is hurting you (like smoking or resentment). God wants us to give up those things that will keep us from Him. We must give up habits and attitudes and ways of living so Christ can give us what He wants to give us.
89-09-30 Feast of Trumpets - 89
Of all the holy days, only Trumpets does not have much historical or agricultural significance. It is a memorial of blowing of trumpets, so Dart looks at the blowing of trumpets in the Bible, showing that, even in the Old Testament, the blast of the trumpet is associated with God coming down to man. Isaiah, Jeremiah and other Old Testament prophets have future trumpet prophecies that clearly refer to the Day of the Lord, the presence of God, the coming of God, and God’s intervention in the affairs of men. Then, Dart adds the New Testament end-time trumpet prophecies associated with the resurrection and the return of Christ.
89-10-07 A Theology of Atonement
When was Christ made sin? What is the curse of the law? Dart examines Leviticus 16 in the context of Hebrews 8-10, which explains Atonement for the Christian. When Jesus said “it is finished”, His sacrifice for atoning reconciliation was completed and is forever. But His work is not yet finished, as He will appear a second time unto salvation. Does this perhaps refer to the Azazel goat? Yet, it is reasonable to see the binding of Satan in the Azazel goat, as well. “Of all the people in the world who would want to keep the Day of Atonement, Christians ought to.” This messages also addresses the Jubilee liberty and a very vivid description of Revelation 19.
89-10-18 Earthquake '89
In the context of the 1989 San Francisco earthquake, which had just happened the night before, Dart gives a Feast of Tabernacles message on disasters. First, anyone who thinks that the victims of a tragedy deserved it, are self-righteous. "The got what they deserved and I didn't because I'm better than they are." Dart briefly encourages people to make practical physical preparations, before going in-depth into Bible teachings on disasters, both historical and prophetic. The conclusion is that we are to be spiritually ready now, and always.
89-11-11 To Build a Church
An analogy to a physical church building. One's personal habits can contribute to the strength of the church. How to move toward unity. How to destroy unity. How do those with little in common tie into the same church? Networking creates connections that bind the church. The importance of what "every joint supplies". Subjects: Paul's pastoral epistles; assertiveness vs aggressiveness; lowliness-meekness-longsuffering; peacemaking.
89-12-30 Forecast For The 90's
Dart speaks of earlier years and Herbert Armstrong and Garner Ted Armstrong on XLO and XCG radio, and the booklet “1975 In Prophecy”. The social breakdown in the 60’s was massive, yet society is worse now (1989) and still the end is not yet. While making a disclaimer about not being a prophet, Dart makes these predictions:
1) Increased prosperity in the 1990’s. Typically, Israel falls when it prospers.
2) The national debt will continue to increase.
3) Japan will experience a dramatic stock market crash. This will take the U.S. market down, leaving Europe as the dominant economic power in the world.
4) People will increasingly expect a global society but will be disappointed. Freedom has a tendency to divide.
5) The USSR will fall apart.
6) The world will become more interdependent economically, while divided culturally.
7) A solution to the Palestinian problem will be forced upon Israel.
8) The family will continue to decline.
9) The drug war will be lost.
Two long discussions on the role of the nation’s preachers in the nation’s moral decline. How much has the church been corrupted by the world and therefore in need of repentance?
1989 Closer to Christ
Jesus often “hung out” with “unsavory” characters. Might there be “unsavory” characters in our church? As a healer attracts the sick, a forgiver attracts the sinner. We, as sinners, ar drawn to Jesus and find ourselves among other sinners similarly drawn. We ought to not only be tolerant, but helpful, encouraging, comforting. We’re no better; we’re all in the same boat. There are 2 classes of people: sinners who know they’re sinners and sinners who think they aren’t. Jesus as a source of life and restoration. Dart closes with a long discussion on how to get closer to Christ.
1989 Last Great Day
Dart reflects on the death of his own non-church-going father who was a decent man, and launches into the inconsistencies of sending such a man to an everburning hell. The cruel paradoxes of the immortal soul. What happens when children die? Is there an age of accountability? "The doctrine of eternal torture in an everburning hell goes against everything we know about God." Dart explains the salvation paradox. What about those whose eyes God has closed? What about the Jews? What about those who rejected Jesus? God concluded them to unbelief that He might have mercy on them later. Dart explains the answers from the 1st and 2nd resurrections in Revelations 20, as well as the Ezekiel 37 dry bones prophecy. All men will have a chance.
1989 Remembering Passover
Why rituals? The value of repeated memorials. A review of the Exodus 12 Passover. A review of the 14th vs the 15th. Did Jesus take Passover a day early? The difference between the Old Testament Passover and the New Testament Passover. The requirement of circumcision. When did Jesus do the Lord's Supper? Is that Passover? Why the blood? Why the body? Did Jesus do away with the Passover? Did he change it to the Lord's Supper? The great symbols of the Passover and what they mean. What about the night-to-be much observed and the liberation from sin?
1989 Remembering Pentecost
Given during the weeks leading up to Pentecost. Pentecost, like all the Holy Days, brings up the questions - what are we supposed to remember / memorialize? What are we supposed to associate it with? And how is the repetition of it supposed to affect us? Dart answers these and begins by talking about the wave-sheaf offering, the start of the count to Pentecost, and the symbolism therein. He goes into some detail about the timing of Pentecost and gives a lengthy and excellent analysis of the Scribes and Pharisees sitting in Moses' seat. The weeks leading up to Pentecost picture a harvest, and Dart notes that there is urgency and a dire lack of laborers.
1989 Strength in Weakness
Dart contrasts David and Gideon. With Israel, David's mighty men were great warriors. But, with Gideon, not so mighty. God was showing that the success of Gideon's army was absolutely a miracle from God. Israel's full army would not have demonstrated that. The strength, the faith, the power, the courage of the people God chose are not a factor in the victory. Most of us are like Gideon, not David. We don't have the power, the courage, the faith as did David. We need God to intervene in our weakness. For Paul to be of value to God, he had to be weakened, as was Gideon's army. God's strength works in weakness. In Romans, Paul explains how Israel failed because they tried to accomplish salvation through their own work and power, but what saves one is Jesus Christ. He is our Savior. God does not directly work through human strength, but through human weakness.
1989 The Devil's Tracks
Dart looks at encounters with the spirit world, including the "Prince of Persia", the "King of Tyre", angels, adversaries, and Satan himself. When we "go with the flow", things are easy because "the flow" is the way of this world, the way of Satan. It is when you start resisting that flow as you start to try and obey God, that you have resistance from the enemies of God. Dart talks about looking for signs of the devil. God-hating in Hollywood; the gender abolishment movement; the hidden agenda in the abortion industry, the gay rights movement, radical feminism, and ultimately the movement to abolish the Father. The devil's tracks are all over; we can see them if we look. It is very important that Satan will one day be bound, yes, he is all around us now. Thus, it is critical to maintain a close relationship to God. Submit to God, resist the devil, and he will flee. Speak no evil of one another. Also, stay attached to a church.
1989 Why Marriages Fail
1) People won't listen to each other or a preacher or a counselor or even to God
2) People react too easily to provocation
3) People get even, rather than turn the other cheek
4) People won't forgive each other
5) People don't keep their word. God will hold you to your promises.
Marriages need a good dose of basic Christianity – sermon on the mount – 1 Corinthians 13 – fruits of the spirit – etc. Do this first. Never allow profanity to enter your marriage. No name calling. Address actions. Don't lie to each other. What your marriage needs is Christian love.
1989 You Can Change Your Life
A sermon about meditating on God’s law. “Torah”, translated as “law”, also means instruction. Dart shows how thinking about these instructions and applying them will change your life. He gives examples from the law and proverbs and shows how we must continue to study them, practice them, and why.