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Character Building Seminar: 4 “God Has Shown Us His Glory”

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Character development is said to be the most important work ever entrusted to human beings. During the next hour we will explore both our privilege and our responsibility to become Christ-like in character. Join us now for this powerful time of personal renewal as Pastor Stephen Wallace takes us "From Glory to Glory." "God Has Shown Us His Glory" We are pushing ahead with our systematic, step-by-step study of the most important work ever entrusted to human beings; and what is that? Class, those of you who've been here from the beginning. What is the most important work ever entrusted to human beings? What is it? Character building. Yes, indeed. What? You mean, even more important than soul-winning? Well, yes. Why? Because we can't possibly do the very, very important work of soul-winning successfully, until we've done the most important work of character building. Amen? You see our effectiveness as soul-winners is directly proportional to our Christ-likeness of character. I wanted to hear one "amen." I'll give you a second chance. Our effectiveness as soul-winners is directly proportional to our Christ-likeness of character. {Amen} Thank you. You see, that, which makes us people that the Lord can use to draw others into a saving relationship with Himself, is by letting the Lord make us loving and lovable representatives of Him. Amen? {Amen} It's the love of Christ that draws {Jn 12:32}, and if that love isn't drawing through us, we can't expect Gentiles to come. Like our Scripture passage so clearly states there, in Isaiah 60, verse 3, When do Gentiles come? When they see the glory, in us, reflected; and what's glory? - I know some of you have just joined us. Welcome, but where were you last night? - "Glory" is the Biblical term for character. So when the Bible says that the glory is seen upon us, it's saying that the character of Christ is reflected in us; and when the glory is seen in us, then is when Gentiles come. Because they see the loving and lovable character of Jesus, and that's attractive. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} That's winsome. That's what makes us effective soul- winners. Character building, the most important work, and we've studied some very important concepts in addition to that. We started out by making sure that we all understood that spiritual things are only, what? ...spiritually discerned. {1 Cor 2:13-14} Without the help of the Holy Spirit, my dear friends, we cannot possibly experience the liberating, sanctifying power of the truth. We may be able to have an intellectual exercise, but brother, sister, God forbid that all we do these many hours we're going to be studying together, is have an intellectual exercise. God grant that we have a life-changing experience. Do I hear an "amen"? I want to be more like Jesus for having spent this time in the study of God's word with you. Are you with me on that? I want to be transformed by the renewing of my mind. {Rom 12:2} I want to re-program... I want to be re-programmed by the truth, but that can only happen as we receive the truth under the influence of the... Spirit of Truth, the Holy Spirit. The truth has no power unless it's received under the influence of the Holy Spirit. We can't possibly be trained and transformed by the renewing of our minds, unless we study the truth under the influence of the Holy Spirit. That's why it's our practice before we proceed... Before we... Remember the memory device? It works for me and I hope it works for you. Whenever I'm getting ready to open the Bible, I use that as a reminder that I must first, what? ...open my heart. Open my heart. You hear the knock this morning my friends? Behold I stand at the door and... knock. {Rev 3:20} He wants to come in, but He can't unless we, what? Unless we invite Him in. He doesn't force His way; He awaits our invitation. He's here in our midst as a congregation, we know that; He's promised, "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst." {Mat 18:20} But please don't be satisfied with that. Make sure He's in your midst as an individual. Make sure you've opened the door of your heart. Will you do that? ...and as you pray that the Holy Spirit will bless you with His presence, pray that He'll use me, would you? I am going to kneel. I enjoy... I invite you to join me in kneeling for a few moments of silent prayer. My Father in Heaven in the name of Jesus Christ, I come in my own behalf, and in behalf of my blood-bought brothers and sisters. First of all, to praise You for letting us to call you Father. What a privilege. We don't appreciate it nearly as much as we should, but help us to appreciate it more and help us to... to value it on the basis of the price paid, to make it possible. What an infinite price. We are blood-bought children. It cost you everything to give us that privilege, and Father we rejoice in that privilege. It's so good to belong to You. You take such good care of Your children. We thank You for Your watch care through this week. We Thank you for bringing us here safely together to worship You. We've gathered to do that, but Father we've gathered in vain, unless You bless us with the Spirit. We cannot worship You in spirit and in truth, unless the Spirit of Truth is here. Father we want to study the most important work ever entrusted to human beings. We want to better understand our cooperative role in the development of a Christ-like character. We've come to recognize that we can be neither effective witnesses for the King, nor fit citizens for the Kingdom, unless we have a Christ-like character. Since the King is coming soon, and since there is little time left, Father, it's imperative, it's urgent that we study diligently and understand our cooperative role. So please, bless us through the outpouring of your Holy Spirit. Especially me. I have the undeserved privilege of leading out in the study of Your Word, and You know how desperately I need Your help. Take possession of me: mind, body, and spirit. I'm Yours, three times over I'm Yours, by creation, by redemption and by my own choice. So please condescend to use me. Let me be Your messenger boy this morning. Let me speak what You want me to say, nothing more, nothing less. What You manage to communicate through me, may it find receptive hearts and minds that it might change lives. We want through the study of the truth, by the Spirit of Truth, to be much more like Him who is the Truth, Jesus. It's in His name we pray. Amen. We have been making progress and we are now on page, what is it class? Seven, thank you. Lesson 4 entitled: God Has Shown Us His Glory. By the way, those of you who don't have a printout, come this afternoon, and there will be one available. We have them out there in the foyer, and they are for those who plan to come on a regular basis. We will be continuing to hand out material that you will put in that three-ring binder as the studies proceed. We have been coming to understand some very important things that I need to just quickly review for the sake of those who've just joined us. The first very crucial concept that we have come to recognize, is that the biblical term for character is, what class? It's glory; and that's imperative to know, because we are proposing to study what saith the Lord on this ultimately important topic. And if we are going to successfully do that, we've got to understand the term that God uses for "character." The word "character" doesn't occur in the King James Bible, not even once. It's not there, and one might conclude that the Bible has nothing to say about character development. No, wrong conclusion. The whole of Scripture is about character development. But you don't recognize that readily unless you understand the term that the Bible uses for character and that's "glory." Therefore the title of our series, "From Glory to Glory," is really "From Character to Character." That's how we grow into Christ-likeness of character. The other thing that is so important that we've already established, and that is our working definition for character. What is character? Come on class, encourage me! What is character? It's the thoughts and feelings combined. {5T 310.1} Yes. Good. Thank you. You see character is what makes us what we really are. It's something much more fundamental than how we talk and act, what we pretend to be. Is it possible to pretend to be something you're not? Yes it is. Is it possible to do that even in our religious experience? Yes, it is. It's called "hypocrisy." It's possible to pretend you're a Christian and not even be one. What is it that makes us what we really are, then? As the wise man says, "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he." {Prov 23:7} I say, heart pointing to my mind, because that's really what the word means. It's soul, and it's in reference to the intellect and the affections, the thoughts and the feelings. Thus our working definition for character. Testimonies, Volume 5, page 310: "The thoughts and feelings combined make up the moral character." Crucial concept, my dear friends. From this point on, whenever you hear the word "glory," I want you to think CHARACTER and whenever you hear the word "character," I want you to think THOUGHTS and FEELINGS combined. Are we all together? Very important. Character is thoughts and feelings combined, and that's what makes us what we really are. You see, this is precisely why I get so concerned when I hear people say, "Well he can talk the talk, I want to know can he walk the walk?" As if that was the final and decisive test. My dear friends, I've got news for you. It is remarkably possible, not only to talk the talk, but to walk the walk, and not even be converted. Do you hear me? You see, if you and I have sufficient ego motivation, we can do a remarkable job of bringing our behavior into compliance with the letter of the law. {Rom 7:6} We can walk the walk. We can put on a good show. We can have everyone fooled, including ourselves, into thinking that we are rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing. {Rev 3:17} Ooo! Who does the True Witness say that about? Us! The end time, Laodicean church. Why are we so frighteningly self-deceived? We think that we're rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing; and we don't even know that we are wretched, poor, blind, miserable, and naked. {Rev 3:17} That's pretty serious self-deception. Why? Because my dear friends, we have evaluated ourselves on the basis of a superficial criteria. We have been analyzing our behavior, and because it checks out relatively well - thank you; we behave a lot better than most - thank you... and besides we as Seventh-day Adventists, we keep all Ten Commandments. That settles it. I'm God's remnant, just ready and waiting for Jesus to come. Be careful. You may not be what you think you are. But you are what you think. "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he." {Prov 23:7} My dear friends please, in evaluating our Christian experience, we need to get beyond behavior analysis. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} We need to start looking at the spirit, the motive, behind the behavior, because it's frighteningly possible to be doing all the right things for all the wrong reasons! {Amen} I know of what I speak from years of experience, and by the way, this is why I get so urgent about this, is because for years this boy put on a real good show. I'm an M.K. and a P.K. What's that? That's a missionary's kid and a preacher's kid. I grew up in a fishbowl, and I learned how to talk the talk, and walk the walk, because daddy's reputation was on the line. I had everyone fooled, including myself, for a long time. So please don't resent me for probing a little bit in this area. OK? It's quite possible to be self-deceived, and be seated here this morning. What makes us what we are... is what goes on between the right and the left ear, where only you and God know what's happening. You've got to get past asking yourself what I do, and what I don't do, and ask yourself, why I do it and why I don't do it. Why are you here this morning? Bless your hearts. Why are you here? Well, because it's expected of me, and you know, I mean, this is the seventh day, and I'm supposed to go to church on Sabbath. It's a duty. My dear friends, I've got to tell you this, If Sabbath keeping is to you a duty, you aren't keeping the Sabbath. You see, true Sabbath keeping is a delight to those who love the Lord of the Sabbath. Read it, it's in Isaiah 58. Who delights in the Sabbath? Those who delight in the Lord of the Sabbath. If you're here for any other reason than loving the Lord with your whole heart, soul, and mind {Mat 22:37}, please know you aren't keeping the Sabbath. I don't care how technically correct your behavior might be. I don't care if you might be able to refrain from any gainful employment, and keep from doing all sorts of inappropriate things on this day. If you don't love the Lord of the Sabbath, you haven't kept the Sabbath holy. {Amen} It's high time we come to grips with this reality. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} And forgive me for talking so straight to you, but my dear friends, I'm doing it because I love you. I want you to recognize any hypocrisy, if there is any, while there's still time to get real. You see, what really concerns me is that there will be a whole lot of conscientious Seventh-day Adventists, who will not discover their hypocrisy, until it is too late; and they will have to hear that fateful verdict, "Depart from Me ye workers of iniquity. I never knew you." {Mat 7:23} "What? Wait a minute you've got the wrong guy. Didn't you notice I kept the Sabbath for umpteen years? In fact, I went to Sabbath school. Isn't that worth extra points?" "Depart from Me, I never knew you." You never had the mind of Christ. You never had the heart of Christ. You were doing the right things, but for the wrong reasons; and by the way, please notice, doing the right things for the wrong reasons in God's evaluation, is iniquity. Some people are going to be terribly shocked and disappointed when they discover that too late. Please discover it now if it needs to be discovered. You see, we are now in the anti-typical Day of Atonement. Are you with me? Do some of you still believe that? {Yes, yes.} I pray that you do. That's part of the great Advent message. We are in the anti-typical Day of Atonement; and in the typical Day of Atonement, what were the children of Israel doing? They were searching their hearts to see whether it was well with their souls. {Lev 23:27-32} Now, if it was important to do that in the typical, don't you think it would be all the more important to be doing it in the antitypical? We're in the real thing now. We ought to be searching our hearts: Is it well with my soul? Am I really a Christian where I am... between the right and the left ear? "As a man thinketh in his heart so is he." {Prov 23:7} Oh, brother, sister, God help us! God help us learn what it means to have the mind of Christ. Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus. {Phil 2:5} You see, this is why I get worried about this... this question. "Well he can talk the talk, but I want to know can he walk the walk?" What's the real test question? "Does he think the thoughts?" Do I hear an "amen"? "Is he in the privacy of the mind bringing his thoughts and feelings into harmony with the spirit of the law, which is love?" That's what makes us Christians. Amen? {Amen} And by the way, if you're thinking the thoughts, you will talk the talk, and walk the walk. Except all of the sudden, it'll be genuine ...instead of phony; and all of the sudden it'll be winsome, and that's what makes you an effective soul-winner. When you're a loving and lovable person, and you do nice things because you love people; not so that you can get credit or get points. You see, this is precisely why white-washed tombs, whited-sepulchers, in the King James English, don't make good soul- winners. Do they? Do hypocrites make good soul-winners? They might be ever so beautiful on the outside. They might have their act together. Oh, they can talk the talk, they can walk the walk, but they aren't loving and lovable people. Do you like to spend a lot of time with white-washed tombs? Do you like to live next door to a white-washed tomb? No! Why? Because they are miserable people to live with. They're hard. Tombs are hard. They're cold, and they've got sharp corners; and by the way, if you get close to them, there's kind of a bad odor; and I'm not talking about lack of deodorant. I'm talking about the dead old man behind the white-wash, that kind of permeates it every once in a while. Are you hearing what I'm saying? It reeks of selfishness, doesn't it? No wonder. No wonder our soul-winning efforts aren't as effective as we'd like them to be. My dear friends, if we are out trying to win souls for any other reason than supreme love for God and unselfish love for others, we can't possibly have a positive drawing influence on lost souls. We can't. How do we become Christ-like in character? We must... we must, if we're going to be either effective witnesses for the King, or what? ...fit citizens for the Kingdom. So, how do we become Christ-like in character? By beholding the glory of the Lord. Precisely. See, that's our key text: 2 Corinthians 3:18: "It's only in beholding that we are changed. Changed into the likeness of what we... behold". Therefore if I am going to be changed from glory to glory, and by the way, who changes me? What does the text say? We are changed from glory to glory, being transformed from glory to glory even as, by whom? ...the Spirit of the Lord. Only the Holy Spirit can change me. I can't change myself, but I must cooperate with the Holy Spirit in that process by doing, what? Beholding the glory of the Lord. You see, we are changed into the likeness of what we behold. Thus our theme song: "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus." As we behold Him, we are, by the power of the Spirit, transformed, being transformed into the likeness of what we behold; and as we behold the glory of the Lord, we are being changed from glory to glory, growing ever more fully into the likeness of what we are beholding. Does that make sense? Do you see that? That brings us to a very important question. How, and where, has God revealed His glory to us? Why is it so important to answer that? Because my dear friends, only in beholding the glory, can we be... changed. It becomes imperative then, that we understand how, and where, God has revealed His glory to us, that we might behold it, and thereby be changed. Are you all with me? {Amen} Now bless your hearts, I need response from you. I'm a teacher. That's all I am, I'm just a teacher... and you see, I'm watching your faces constantly. I've got to have positive feedback, that you at least understand what I've communicated, otherwise, I feel I have to go over it again. So, give me feedback. How and where is God's glory revealed? I want to list in the next couple, maybe three lectures, seven places... How many? Seven places where God reveals His glory to us; seven ways in which God reveals His glory to us. Let's start off with number one, on top of the list. What, or perhaps I should say who, comes first to mind as the revelation of God's glory? {Jesus Christ} Jesus Christ. Amen? {Amen} Yes! What does Scripture say, regarding Jesus Christ? Hebrews 1:3, it calls Him what? "The brightness of His glory." What is Jesus? "The brightness." What does that mean? That means undiminished outshining. Are you with me? He's not just a faint reflection. He is the what? The brightness, the undiminished outshining of His Father's glory. What's glory? Character. So, Paul is telling us here, in this remarkable phrase, that Jesus is the undiminished outshining of His Father's glory. He is the ultimate, the most perfect revelation of the character of God. Are we all together? {Amen} Now, I want to just note that in passing because we are going to come back to that, and we are going to devote three, at least, studies to the ultimate revelation of God's glory in Jesus Christ. That will come later this week, and you will all be back for those studies... I'll give you a second chance... You will all be back for those studies... {Amen} The brightness of His glory: Jesus Christ. Number one on the list of where and how God has revealed His glory to us. What's number two? This is often overlooked, and I want to deal with this very carefully. Work with me on this. God has also revealed His glory to us in His law. In His what, class? {Law} In His law. Work with me on this. Remember we went last night to Mount Sinai, and we listened in, on a conversation between Moses and God. It's recorded there in Exodus 33, isn't it? Verse 18. Moses made this most remarkable request. "Please, please show me Your," what? "...Your glory." "Show me Your glory." Moses specifically asks to see God's glory. God tells him that He will make all His goodness pass before him, and that He will proclaim His name. But notice what else God tells him to do. Chapter 34, verse 1, this is very significant: "And the Lord said to Moses, ’Cut two tablets of stone like the first ones.’" What happened to the first ones, by the way? He threw them down when he saw the children of Israel dancing around the golden calf and broke them. {Ex 32:19} OK? "Cut two tablets of stone like the first ones, and I will write on these tablets the words that were on the first tablets which you broke." Very interesting. When Moses says, "I pray Thee show me Thy glory," God says, "Well I did once... but you broke them. Tell you what, bring two more tablets and I will write out once more My character, My glory." You see my friends, the law is a transcript of God's character {COL 305.3}, which is His glory. Are we all together? What's a transcript? A transcript is a written version of something. God has defined for us in the Ten Commandments His character, His glory. I want to further ratify this from Scripture, by taking you to Deuteronomy, chapter 5, turn with me there. Deuteronomy, chapter 5. By the way, we have here in the fifth of Deuteronomy, the second rendering of the Ten Commandments. You're aware of that, aren't you? Just to establish that, verse 21: "You shall not covet your neighbor's wife," "you shall not..." etcetera. That's the Tenth Commandment. Now, note what he says, Moses, immediately following the Ten Commandments, verse 22: "These words the Lord spoke to all your assembly in the mountain from the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and He added no more. And He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me." Moses speaking to the children of Israel obviously regarding the Ten Commandments. Are we all together? What did Israel respond? How did Israel respond? What did they say in response? Verse 24: "And you said: ‘the Lord our God has shown us His...’" What? "...His glory." What's glory? Use your exegetical key. Whenever you see the word "glory" think what? "Character." "Character." Israel recognized that in the revelation of God's... in the law of God, they had the revelation of God's character, God's glory. Were they correct in that observation? Look down at verse 28: "Then the Lord heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me, and the Lord said to me: ‘I have heard the voice of the words of this people which they have spoken to you. They are right in all that they have spoken.’" In other words, when Israel said in response to the law of God, "God has shown us His glory," God said, "You're right." Clearly then, God's glory is revealed in His law. Are we all together? {Amen} Now, having established that from Scripture, let's confirm it from the inspired commentary on Scripture that we enjoy as a people, the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy. Review and Herald February 4, 1890. Quote: "The law spoken from Sinai is a," what? "transcript of God's character." Amazing Grace, page 80: "The glory of Christ is revealed in the law, which is a transcript of His character..." My dear friends, where has God revealed His glory to us then? In His law... in His law. Please know, that if we are going to be changed from glory to glory, we must behold the glory. Amen? I exhort you then, for your sake and for Christ's sake, learn to behold the glory of God as revealed in His law. Do we better understand in this context, why, and how, it is David could say, "How love I thy law, it is my meditation all the day long"? {Ps 119:97} You know, I used to scratch my head and wonder David, what is so attractive to you about the law of God? Of course that was in my B.C. days; and by the way, hear me. One of the best ways, one of the best ways to test, whether you are truly converted, is to ask yourself honestly: "What is my attitude towards the law of God?" You see the carnal mind is, what? ...enmity against God. It is not subject to the law of God nor indeed can be. {Rom 8:7} The carnal man is incapable of truly loving God's law. You can't possibly love God's law and I couldn't possibly love God's law, until I allowed Him to give me a new heart that had the law of God written upon it; and then I found there was a radical change in my attitude towards the law. So when I used to scratch my head and say, "David, what are you so enamored about God's law for? How can you meditate on it day and night?" It's not attractive to me; it's just a list of don'ts. It's always restricting me, prohibiting me from doing what I'd really like to do, and it's always asking me to do stuff that I don't want to do. It's a pain. But that's the natural man's attitude towards the law. You see, there is no more uncomfortable experience, hear me please. Some of you are in this, that I am going to identify right here. There is no more uncomfortable experience for a person to be in, than to try to keep a carnal heart in a spiritual straight jacket; and the law is a straight jacket if you're not converted. Your attitude towards the law is negative, but you might grit your teeth and make yourself comply, out of a sense of duty, because you've got to obey if you're going to be good enough to go to heaven. Or else maintain a reputation that will make you respected. My dear friends please, that isn't even obedience though. Why? Because love is the fulfilling of the law. {Rom 13:10} Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} If you aren't obeying the law for any... for the motive of love, then you aren't even obeying. You know that. You're not even obeying. In order to keep the first four commandments, you've got to love God supremely. In order to keep the last six, you've got to love others like yourself... ...unselfishly; and if that's not the motive, you aren't even obeying. Not to mention the fact that there's no delight in obedience. You see if our obedience is out of a sense of duty, it's a negative experience. It doesn't become positive until we have love motivating it. Then it's a delight. Amen? When you love someone, you don't do what they want you to do, because you think you have to; you do what they want you to do because you love pleasing them. Amen? {Amen} ...and I hope that's why you're here worshiping God on the seventh day. You see, the law - a transcript of God's character - how's that? Well, what's God's character in one word? What is it? God is love. 1 John 4:8, "God is love." Of course then, what is the law in one word? {Love} Love. Because it's a transcript of the character of the God, who is love; and of course then, the fulfilling of the law would be, what? ...love. Loving God supremely and others unselfishly, summing it all... it only stands to reason. Jesus sums it up this way; Mathew 22, verses 37 and following: "Jesus said to him, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind." Verse 38: "This is the first and great commandment." 39: "And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." Love. You see, the law defines love in terms of relationships. The first four, tell us how love relates to God. The last six, tell us how love relates to our fellow man, one another. You see, think of it this way... As you take light and shine it through a prism, what happens? It comes out in a beautiful panoply of rainbow colors, the composite of which is light. If you take love and shine it through those tables of stone, they come out in a panoply of Ten Commandments, the composite of which is love. The law simply defines love, again, in terms of relationships... in terms of relationships. God not only defined love for us, wrote it on tables of stone, but He exemplified, modeled love for us, by sending His Son to be the law personified. Did you hear what we just said? He sent His Son to be the law, what? ...Personified. If you want to really see what the law of love looks like, study the life of Jesus Christ. {Amen} That's love. That's obedience to the law. That's what it looks like. My dear friends, if we are obeying the law, then our lives will also look like whose? ...Jesus. Amen? You can't argue against that; and the reason, bless our hearts, the reason why... our lives aren't as Christ-like as they ought to be is that, we haven't learned to obey the law... for the right reasons. We've been trying to obey the law for selfish reasons, which only makes us white-washed tombs. God help us learn to do the right thing for the right reasons. {Amen} ...and, then... then, we will become Christ-like in character; and there will be a sweetness, a winsomeness, an attractiveness, about us that will draw people to Jesus. But not until... not until. Jesus, when He came, how did the angels announce His arrival on the hills of Bethlehem? What were the words of that marvelous song that they sang? It's recorded in Luke 2:14: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men." Do you hear what's being told us there? That's what Jesus came to do. That is the personification, that is the fulfillment of the law. "Glory to God in the highest," That's the first four commandments; "and on earth peace, goodwill towards men," that's the last six. You see that. Jesus personified the law, and to announce the fact that He had come to do that, the angels said, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men." You see, this is why I always want to wince when I hear some of our Evangelical friends say, "Oh, don't give me the law, give me Jesus." My dear friends, Jesus is the law personified. {Amen} And by the way, a lot of people say, "Don't give me the law, give me Jesus;" as if Jesus is a lower, easier standard to meet. Excuse me? I mean, if you think the law is a high standard, look at the life of Jesus! Look at the infinite, self-sacrificing love that He manifested. That's the personification of the law. If you really want a high standard, look at Jesus. {Amen} ...and in beholding, you will be changed. {Amen} In beholding you will be changed. Great Controversy, page 467: "The law of God from its very nature is unchangeable." Pause. God is the same yesterday, today and... {forever} forever. {Heb 13:8} OK? The law is a transcript of His character. {RH, Oct 15, 1895 par. 1} Therefore, it cannot change, by definition. Are we all together? {Amen} Does that include the fourth commandment? {Amen} You better believe it does... dear fellow Protestants. You can't change the Ten Commandments, any more than you can change the character of God. "The law of God, from its very nature, is unchangeable. It is a revelation of the will and the character of its Author. God is love, and His law is love. Its two great principles are love to God, and love to man. 'Love is the fulfilling of the law.' Romans 13:10. The character of God is righteousness and truth; which is the nature of His law. Says the psalmist, 'Thy law is truth.' 'All Thy commandments are righteousness.' Psalm 119:142 and 172. The apostle Paul declares: 'The law is holy, the commandment holy, just and good.' Romans 7:12. Such a law, being an expression of the mind and will of God, must be as enduring as its Author." {Amen} Pretty clear, pretty clear. My dear friends, I have a tremendous burden that we come to appreciate the revelation of God's glory in the law. That we come to be able to say with David and with Christ, "How love I thy law." {Ps 119:97} I insist that it is not possible to have such an attitude towards the law, until we have a new heart. When we get a new heart, we come to recognize that because of the gospel, hear me now please; because of the gospel, the law is the royal law of liberty. {Jam 2:12} {Amen} Now, let me explain what I mean by that. That's crucial to understand. Follow this please. Turn with me to Exodus, chapter 20. Exodus 20. We have there the standard rendition, the one that we're most familiar with, of the Ten Commandments. Tell me where the Ten Commandments begin? Exodus chapter 20. I need a little response here. Where do the Ten Commandments begin? {Verse 3} Verse 3. Bless your hearts, you've jumped very cooperatively into my trap; and I expected that question, I mean that answer. Whenever you go to the Christian bookstore and you get a poster with the Ten Commandments, where do they always begin? "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." Verse 3 ...and that is tragic. Why is that tragic? Because my dear friends, God starts speaking, where? {verse 2} In verse 2. And is it important what God says in verse 2? {Amen} My dear friends, I cannot possibly over emphasize the importance of what He says, in verse 2. You see, what He says in verse 2 is the gospel, and it is on the basis of that remarkable proclamation in verse 2, that we can obey everything that follows. {Amen} What does God say in verse 2? Listen. What does He say in verse 2? "I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} Now do you hear the gospel there? {Yes} You see, Jesus is telling us, "I am your Savior. I have delivered you from your natural bondage to sin, self, and Satan." That's what slavery in Egypt symbolically represents. "I have liberated you. I have brought you out; you are now My children." That's why it becomes the royal law, and it's the royal law of liberty, {Jam 2:12} because we are set free from our natural bondage to sin, self, and Satan, through the blood of Jesus. {Amen} And then, what follows my dear friends, is an emancipation proclamation. {Amen} Amen?! {Amen} Please don't let yourself think of the law of God as negative. You know we do typically, don't we? Come on now. Thou shalt not... thou shalt not. Thou shalt not... sounds pretty negative to me. Listen... in the Hebrew, that's the simple future. You will not. You will not! Yes, you used to in Egypt when you were slaves, but listen, I brought you out of Egypt. You're free! {Amen} You won't do those things anymore. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} In Egypt you used to bow down to other gods and worship them, but that's history. I brought you out of Egypt; you won't do that any more. In Egypt you used to be forced to work on the Sabbath, but hey, that's history. Now, remember it, keep it holy. In Egypt you used to kill, and lie, and steal... and covet. But that's all history, you won't do that any more. I've set you free! {Amen} Oh, you've got to love a law like that. Amen? {Amen} But my dear friends do you see how essential that foundational preamble is? Please don't separate that from the law; and whenever you see a poster, get out a marker pen and write in the first verse. Give people a chance to understand the basis upon which, they can keep the commandments. {Amen} You can't keep it unless you've been set free. ...can't keep it unless you've been set free. James 2:8 and James 1:25 is where we take the royal law, which is the law of liberty from. And my dear friends, it is so important for the world, if they are going to come into a saving relationship with the Law-giver, to recognize the beautiful, positive nature of the law, and to see it as a transcript of God's character. One of the best ways, please hear me, one of the most convincing ways that we can help people come to recognize that, is by living that life of liberty from the bondage of sin, and loving them. You see, the law sets us free from selfishness, but empowers us to love. {Amen} Amen? {Amen} And when people see that freedom from the bondage of selfishness, and that love of Christ flowing through us, they are convinced that there is something beautiful, and positive, and desirable, about the law of God... and they desire to come under its authority, because they want that joy, that health, that happiness, that we are manifesting. You see, our lives ought to give irrefutable evidence, that it is good to obey the law of God. Amen? {Amen} It is good to be under the Lordship of the Prince of love. It brings health, it brings happiness, it brings wholeness, it brings harmony, it brings peace, it brings joy, it brings unity. {Amen} That's what obedience to the law of God does, if it is Spirit-empowered, love-motivated obedience. Listen, Review and Herald, March 9, 1897: "If the world knew the principles of the laws of God's government, if they obeyed His commandments, they would discern the character of God in the law, and would no longer be at enmity with God. But turning from the law of God, men have no means of discerning His character, and the attributes of the character of Satan are cherished and cultivated." Do you see why Satan is so constantly trying to foster and promote, a negative attitude towards the law of God? Do you see why he's come up with this false gospel that says, that Jesus did away with the law? ...which promotes this attitude: don't give me the law, give me Jesus. Oh, he knows... he knows, that God's glory is revealed in His law, and he wants very much to obscure the revelation of God's glory, in the law of God. But my friends, please understand that the law can be recognized as a transcript of God's character, only when we recognize its spiritual nature. Did you hear what I've just said there? I want to repeat that: "The law can be recognized and appreciated as a transcript of God's character, only when we come to recognize and appreciate its spiritual nature." {Amen} What do I mean by spiritual nature? I mean that it applies to more than just our external behavior. It has governance and jurisdiction over what goes on between the right, and the left ear. {Amen} You see, this is what Jesus was constantly trying to do, when He was preaching to hypocrites. Remember the Sermon on the Mount? You say... that if you kill - you're guilty. I say that if you're... angry - you're guilty. What's Jesus done there? He's amplified the law, and He's helped us see that it has jurisdiction, not only over our behavior, but over our emotions. You can break the law at the level of your feelings. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} He who hates his brother is a... murderer. {1 Jn 3:15} That's right out of the Bible. The law is spiritual; and Jesus goes on to say, "You say if you commit adultery, if you do the deed, you're guilty. I say, that if you look upon a woman to lust for her, you've committed adultery with her already." Where? {in your mind} In your mind... in your heart. {Mat 5:28} Between the right and the left ear, you can transgress the law that says, "Thou shalt not commit adultery," {Ex 20:14} in the privacy of your imagination. Why? Because the law is spiritual! That's why! It has jurisdiction not only over our behavior, now, it's stated in behavioral terms, but when we have spiritual discernment, we see deeper levels. It’s by that spiritual discernment, that the law can become a transcript of God's character, and a blueprint for our character building. Did you follow that? When we recognize its spiritual nature, we see it a transcript of God's character, and we come to appreciate it, as a blueprint for our character. ...and remember, character building is the most important work ever entrusted to human beings. {Ed 225.3} {Amen} Now if you're going to build something, what do you need? Come on builders, help me out. What do you need? You need a blueprint, you need a blueprint. Do we have one? Yes. What is it? The law of God... spiritually discerned; as it governs, and has jurisdiction, and application, to our thoughts and feelings, it becomes a blueprint. This is why David says, "How love I thy law, it is my meditation all the day long." {Ps 119:97} He's studying the blueprint. He wants to be like God. He wants to have that character... restored in him. He wants to be transformed by the renewing of his mind {Rom 12:2}, so he is trying to re-program his mind, by spiritually discerning the law of God; and so ought we. Amen? {Amen} By the way, God has graciously not only given us a blueprint, but what else has He given us? He's given us a model. Amen? You see, any good builder, he wants to have not only a blueprint, but he wants to have a 3D concept of what the building is going to look like when it's through. Who is the model? Jesus Christ. He is the law 3D. He is the law, lived out in humanity; and that two dimensional, all of the sudden, becomes three dimensional in the life of Jesus. In beholding the blueprint, and in beholding the model, we are, what? ...changed into the likeness of what we behold. My brother, my sister, I exhort you in behalf of Christ, behold the blueprint. Amen? {Amen} Behold the blueprint, behold the model. Quickly, where else is God's glory revealed? It's revealed in the sanctuary and its services. Let me just touch on these quickly. Exodus 40:34, "...the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle." Now, I used to think that all that meant, was there a real bright light there. Come on, any of you with me on that? What does the word "glory" mean? Character. So, what's that verse telling us? That verse is telling us, that everything about the sanctuary, it's furniture, its services, every detail, was custom-designed by God to reveal His character. Amen? {Amen} ...and what does the sanctuary say, in irrefutable terms? That the Lord is merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth. That He keeps mercy for thousands, that He forgives iniquity, transgression and sin, and that He by no means clears the guilty. {Ex 34:6-7} God's justice as well as His mercy is revealed in the sanctuary. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} See, God doesn't just sweep sin under the carpet. He forgives sin by placing the guilt on the guiltless head of the Lamb. Amen? {Amen} Therefore, He can be just, and justifier, of those who come, and accept Jesus - the Lamb of God - slain from the foundation of the world. {Rev 13:8} The whole character of God is revealed in the sanctuary and its services. Oh, I’d love to develop that further, but time forbids. Look at Psalm 26, verse 8, just for another Biblical confirmation: "LORD, I have loved the habitation of Your house, and the place, where Your," what? "...Your glory dwells." Amen? {Amen} My friends, do you want to be changed from glory to glory? {Amen} Then, learn to behold the glory in the sanctuary and its services. It's a beautiful revelation of the character of God. Psalm 63, verse 2: "So have I looked for You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory." Behold the glory, in the sanctuary and its services. Where else is God's glory revealed? In Scripture, both Old and New Testament in its entirety, and that only stands to reason. You see, the Bible is the account of Jesus Christ, first, and foremost. What does Jesus say about the Scriptures? "These are they, which testify of Me." {Jn 5:39} So, if we're going to behold the glory in Christ, we've got to learn, to behold it in Scripture. And by the way, when Jesus said, "These are they which testify of Me," which testament was He talking about? Which one? The Old. That's all that was written then. We typically think of the New Testament as the only place where we reveal... we see revealed the glory of Christ. No. The whole Bible is a revelation of His glory. Oh, my friends, behold the glory in Scripture, but please recognize that, you and I, naturally can't see that glory. Spiritual things are only, what? ...spiritually discerned. {1 Cor 2:13-14} Therefore, we must have our eyes anointed with eye-salve. {Rev 3:18} Whenever you get ready to behold the glory as revealed in Scripture, pause to pray Moses' prayer. "I pray Thee, show me Thy glory." {Ex 33:18} "Supernaturally enable me to behold the glory, that in beholding, I might be changed." My friends, do you want to be changed? Then please, for the love of Christ, and for your own sake, learn to behold the glory, first, and foremost, in Jesus Christ. But also, where? In His law... and also, where? In the sanctuary and its services... and also, where? In the Scriptures, both Old and New Testament. ...and in beholding, I promise you, you will be changed. Shall we stand for a closing prayer? Father in heaven, I thank you so much that we can be changed from glory to glory. But help us to realize that it won't happen unless we cooperate with the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, by beholding the glory. Teach us to do that. Teach us to behold the glory, first, and foremost, as it's revealed to us in Jesus, but also in the law, and also in the sanctuary and its services, and also in the entire Scriptures, Old and New Testament, every page, every verse. But anoint our eyes, that we might see the glory in the first place, and then, by the same power that reveals it to us, the power of the Holy Spirit, restore it in us that we might be changed from glory to glory. This is our prayer in Jesus' name. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 59 minutes and 14 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Revival Seminars
Director: Phil
Views: 1,333
Posted by: ludo on Dec 17, 2009

And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. Deut 5:24 --- www.RevivalSeminars.org

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