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Character Building Seminar: 8 “We Beheld 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." "We Beheld His Glory" Welcome back, and thank you so much for the privilege of continuing in our study. The last study, regarding the revelation of the glory of God, was a very, very important one. You see, the only way man can be changed from glory to glory is to behold the glory. And God cannot restore it in the human race until He reveals it to the human race, and God's glory is His character. And I wanted to do that study with you on Genesis 3 because I wanted you to see, that from the very first day of the fall, God revealed His glory, that man in beholding it might be changed. In that sacrifice of the Lamb that was slain {Rev 5:12} to provide those garments of skin, {Gen 3:21} we have a beautiful portrayal of the character of God. Amen? ...and it's the light that shines from the Lamb that dispels the darkness that has been brought upon the human race, on account of the lies of Satan. The gross darkness {Is 60:2} that the human race was plunged into, is dispelled by the light that shines from the Lamb... Amen? {Amen} ...right from the very beginning. I think it's very significant the last text up there, at the end of lesson 7, on the top of page 14. What is it that's going to light even the New Jerusalem? Revelation 21:23: "The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it." The what, class? ...the glory. What's God's glory? His character. Where does this glory that illuminates Heaven and the New Jerusalem, emanate from? Next sentence: "The Lamb is its light." Amen? Right from the very beginning, God revealed the light of His glory in the lamb the day man sinned, and He will do so, through the ceaseless ages of eternity. The Lamb is the light. Amen? The Lamb is the light. Behold the Lamb, my dear friends, behold the Lamb. I cannot overemphasize that... In beholding you will be changed. Now, there were some things that I brought up, for instance, my belief that it was Friday. It was in the evening, and I believe that the Lord God welcomed in the Sabbath with them. But probably the primary reason that I believe it was Friday, is because that which happened in type, its anti-typical fulfillment was on, when? It was on Friday; it was on Friday; and the Lamb of God in anti-type, was slain on Friday afternoon. ...and the garments of skin, my dear friends, what do they represent? ...that that lamb died to provide? You see, that's not a garment of wool, is it? That's not a sheered sheep. What's the only way you can make a garment of skin? You have to take the life of the animal. That's not a garment of wool. I insist there had to be the death of those animals in order for those garments to be provided; and we have here, the establishment of the sacrificial system. But those lambs died that the human race might be what? ...clothed; and what does that garment represent? The robe of Christ's righteousness. {COL 315.2} Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} That's why we put Isaiah 61:10 in there - bottom of page 13: "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord. My soul shall be joyful in my God, for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness." That is the only garment that is adequate to make us presentable when we stand in the presence of the Lord God. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} All of our righteousnesses are as, what? ...filthy rags {Is 64:6}, my dear friends. The only garment that is adequate is that which has been provided at infinite cost through the life and death of Jesus Christ, the Lord our righteousness, our Savior. We'll be studying much more about that. By the way, there's another aspect that I'd like to just touch on with you, and that is, something had to die; I insist on this. Something had to die the day man sinned. Why? What had God said? "In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt," what? "...surely die." {Gen 2:17} Now, who do you suppose was watching every move that God made... just waiting to call foul play? Satan. ...and if nothing had died the day man ate, who do you suppose would've stood up, screamed at the top of his lungs before the whole universe, "I told you so, we are a bunch of robots. We don't really have a free will. Proof: Adam and Eve chose to eat of the forbidden fruit, and God said they would die the day they ate, and God won't let them have what they chose. I rest my case. We are robots." Who would've said that? Satan would've said that. Don't think for a moment he would've missed that chance. But he could not say any such thing. Why? Why? Because he saw something die, and though his selfish mind couldn't conceive of the fact that God was actually going to die - so that man wouldn't have to; he realized that God had figured out some way to honor man's choice and still let him live... and that's what the cross is all about. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} That is what the cross is all about, my dear friends. It's God dying to honor our choice and thereby, preserve our free will, and give us a chance to choose again. {Amen} You've got to love a God like that. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} You've got to love a God like that, my dear friends. You know, the amazing thing about it is that God was willing to do that just to make it possible for us, to have a chance to choose again. Just to make it possible, and count on it, Satan was trying to convince Him that nobody would change their mind. And by the way, he especially tried to convince Him of that in Gethsemane - more on that later. "It's not worth it," Satan kept telling Him. "No one's going to change their mind. Why are you doing this? They're all hopeless rebels. Forget it. Go back home. You don't want to go through this agony. It's not going to pay off anyway. Forget it." You know what Jesus says? "I'm willing to go through with this just to make it possible for even one to come back into love motivated obedience to Me and my Father. I will go through it just to save one." You've got to love a Lord like that. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} You've got to love a Lord like that... Praise God for the Lamb. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} Praise God for the Lamb. It's so significant that the Bible calls Him "the Lamb slain from," when? "...the foundation of the world." {Rev 13:8} In type, from the very foundation of the world; and when He comes in fullness of time, how is He introduced by John the Baptist? "Behold the Lamb of God." {Jn 1:29} ...and what's John telling everyone who's within earshot? "Here He is. This is the anti-typical Lamb. This is the One that all of those lambs - including the first two that died to clothe our parents - this is the One they've all pointed forward to. Here He is. Behold the Lamb, and in beholding you will be changed." Oh, praise God for the Lamb. Amen? {Amen} And in beholding the Lamb, people were changed, and the sacrificial system developed and significantly matured in the establishment of the sanctuary and its services. But still at the core, what was there? The sacrifice of the lamb. But eventually, type had to meet anti-type. The type wasn't a sufficient revelation. So, in fullness of time, God sent His Son, {Gal 4:4} and that's where we go at this point. But before we proceed, what must we pause to do, my dear friends? Personally invite God's Spirit to be with us. Please, pray for me as you pray for yourself. Pray that God will give me special efficiency and accuracy, as I deal with these precious truths. Father in Heaven, how precious is the opportunity we have to behold the Lamb. Please open our eyes. Anoint our eyes with eye salve. Help us to see greater depths of truth than we've ever seen before. Help us to see light shining from old texts that we've never noticed before. And in the light of the glory of Your love, shining from Scripture - but shining especially from the Word made flesh - help us to be changed into the likeness of what we behold. Please Lord, anoint my lips; take possession of my tongue. Guide my thoughts, indite my every word. I want to speak truth and only the truth... the truth as it is in Jesus; and then, what You manage to say through me, in spite of myself, may it reach hearts and minds and capture wills; that it may transform lives. This is my prayer in Jesus' name. Amen. The title of lesson 8, which is where we are presently, on page 14, "We Beheld His Glory." That phrase is taken from John 1:14: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory," what kind of glory? "the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." Now, you heard our key word there didn't you? "Glory." What is glory? "Character." We are talking about Christ's mission to reveal God's glory to us. God's glory was revealed in type, from the day man sinned. But in fullness of time, Christ came as the anti-typical Lamb to reveal the fullness of the Father's glory. But to do that, the Word had to become, what? ...flesh. Work with me on this concept. This verse is so full of truth. First of all, notice who it is that is sent. It is the Word... The Word. Who is this Word? John 1:1-3 gives us a clear answer to that question. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men." Who is the Word? The Word is God. It's the second person of the Godhead, the Son of God. Signs of the Times, February 13, 1893: "In the work of creation, Christ was with God. He was one with God, equal with Him, the brightness of His glory, the express image of His person, representative of the Father. He alone, the Creator of man could be his Savior. No angel of heaven could reveal the Father to the sinner, and win him back to allegiance to God. But Christ could manifest the Father's love; for God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself." You see my dear friends, the only way the human race - who is now lost and in rebellion - is going to be won back, is through the revelation of the character of God, the glory of God. But there's only one Being that can do that adequately, and that's One who Himself is God. No other created being is up to the task of revealing what God is really like, they are only at best a faint reflection. But here is One who is the brightness of His Father's glory, the undiminished outshining of His Father's character. He alone is up to the task, and only man's Creator could be man's Savior, because saving man involves recreating in him God's likeness. The only One who can recreate God's likeness in us, is the One who created God's likeness in us, in the first place. Are you with me? This is why our Savior has to be our Creator. It's very significant that when David cries out, "Create in me a," what? "...clean heart," {Ps 51:10} the Hebrew word there is, "bara," that's translated "create;" and it's a unique word. It's used exclusively in reference to God; it's creating something from nothing. It's the same word that's used in Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created," "bara." You see it takes the same power to speak by the Word, into the nothingness of this part of the universe; the world that we now know. It takes that same power, that same Word, to speak by His creative power into our hearts, a new creature. Amen? ...and make of us a new creature. Only our Creator can be our Savior, because to recreate us requires creative power; and that creative power, is in the Word, and in the Word alone. Are we all together? OK. Now, this Word please note, what does John say? "All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." Now, that puts Him in a totally different category than any created being. Doesn't it? Because all created beings, everything that was made, was made by whom? ...by Him. Therefore, He Himself cannot be a creature, or made, or even have a beginning. Are you following this? By the way these are profoundly significant and important theological issues. There's a lot of confused thinking going on regarding the person of Christ. There are those, even in this beloved Church of ours, who insist that at some point He had a beginning. My dear friends, everything that has a beginning, came through Him. Therefore, He has no beginning - He's the I AM. He always has been, He always will be. Are you following this? "I AM," puts Him in the category with God. OK. Very important... Desire of Ages, 530: "In Christ is life, original, unborrowed, underived." That's pretty clear, do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} "In Him, in Christ is life original, unborrowed, underived, 'He that hath the Son hath life.' {1 Jn 5:12} The divinity of Christ is the believer's assurance of eternal life." You see if our Savior doesn't have within Himself, life unborrowed, underived - eternal life - then we don't truly have the assurance of eternal life. Very important; don't let anyone confuse you on that thinking. OK? Now, His mission to reveal God's character gives special significance to His unique name. The Word. He is what? ...The Word, I like that. What was His mission? It was to reveal God's character; and what is character? What's our working definition class? Thoughts and feelings combined. {5T 310.1} How is it that we communicate our thoughts and feelings? By our words, correct? Now, God wants to reveal to us His true thoughts and feelings towards us. You see, Satan has lied to us regarding God's character. He's caused us to think that God has selfish thoughts and feelings, angry and revengeful thoughts and feelings, that He's harsh, He's arbitrary; and we are now in big trouble, and we have to fear Him. See, those are all the lies of the enemy. Are you following this? So, God wants to communicate to His estranged and frightened, and thereby, rebellious race, His true sentiments towards them. So, what does He do? He sends His Son to tell us how He feels about us. Does that make sense? Listen: Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know," This is God speaking. "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." And so, what does He do to articulate those thoughts? He sends His Son and He calls Him the what? ...The Word. Isn't that a beautiful name for Christ in light of His mission? Youth's Instructor, June 28, 1894: "Who is Christ? He is the only begotten Son of the living God. He is to the Father as a Word that expresses the thought. As a thought made audible, Christ is the Word of God." Now let's take the next phrase in this key text of ours, John 1:14, "And the Word became," what? "...flesh." "The Word became flesh." Now, why was it essential for the Word - in order to communicate to us God's thoughts and feelings, reveal to us God's character - why was it essential for Him to become flesh? Because my dear friends, for two reasons. It was only by so doing, that we could survive the revelation, number one... and two, comprehend it. Did you hear what I just said? The Word had to become flesh if we were to be able to survive the revelation; and secondly, if we were to be able to comprehend it. What do I mean? Well, God exists in infinite glory. Are you with me? ...and when we became sinful, we put ourselves so out of harmony with the glory - the character of God, that God's glory would have been to us, a what? ...a consuming fire. {Heb 12:29} Are you with me? We would have been incinerated in that fullness of glory. This is precisely why Moses on Mount Sinai, when he said, "I pray Thee show me Thy glory,"{Ex 33:18} had to be what? ...hidden in the cleft of the rock, and God had to put His hand over him; and then, God could only allow him to glance at His back as He was departing. {Ex 33:20-23} Even then, Moses' face shown so bright, as a reflection, that Children of Israel couldn't stand to look at it. {Ex 34:30} That's glory. Amen? ...and Moses was a godly, holy man. And my dear friends, that was the same person of the Godhead, who passed by Moses on Mount Sinai; who came, and walked, and talked, amongst us. It's the same person. What made the difference? The Word became what? ...flesh. {Jn 1:14} He veiled His divine glory in humanity. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} He hid, and thereby softened and subdued, the glory in a human body. That's why Hebrews 10:5 says, "Therefore, when He came into the world, He said, 'Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a,'" what? "'...a body you have prepared for Me.'" "...a body you have prepared for Me." Desires of Ages, page 23: "Christ was about to visit our world and to become incarnate. He says: 'A body hast Thou prepared Me. ' Had He appeared with the glory that was His with the Father before the world was, we could not have endured the light of His presence. That we might behold it and not be destroyed, the manifestation of His glory was shrouded. His divinity was veiled with humanity, the invisible glory in the visible human form." Amen? Praise God that the Word became flesh. Praise God that the Word became flesh. My dear friends, please don't underestimate the sacrifice that the Word made, when He became flesh. You see, we often think of Christ's sacrifice, as exclusively having to do with what He did on the cross. And yes, that was an infinite sacrifice He made on the cross. But I'm here to tell you, my dear friends, Christ had already made an infinite sacrifice, so that He could go to the cross. You see, on the cross He had to die. God can't die. So, He had to become a man before He could die. Are you with me? ...and when He became a man, please know, that that was - an infinite, painful and eternal sacrifice - He did not become a man just to do the job, and then go back to status quo; He assumed humanity and He retains humanity through the ceaseless ages of eternity. That was an eternal sacrifice. Please know that. When Jesus rose from the tomb, what did He have the disciples do? Feel Him. ...and what did He do in their presence? He ate. What has He trying to communicate to them? He was still human being; He was still a man... and when He ascended up into heaven in that cloud - at the ascension, what did the angels say? "This same Jesus shall so come in like manner." {Acts 1:11} My dear friends, He's a man forever. Amen? {Amen} He is One with humanity forever, and that by the way; is the reason why humanity has been elevated in the sphere of moral worth with God. Because to save us, God became one of us. Emmanuel, God with us. {Mat 1:23} {Amen} Think of that! It's almost beyond comprehension... God, the sovereign Creator of this universe - all those millions and billions of stars - the One who brought them all into existence; came down to this tiny speck, and become one of us tiny little specks on this speck - to save us... and He will remain one with us, forever. You've got to love a God like that. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} You've got to love a God like that... The Word become flesh, and it was painful. Listen to this. Bible Commentary, Volume 7, page 915, top of page 15: "Christ, at an infinite cost, by a painful process," by a what? "...a painful process, mysterious to angels as well as to men, assumed humanity, hiding His divinity, laying aside His glory, He was born a babe in Bethlehem." How was painful for Him to become a man. Next line, next phrase in our text. We're taking apart John 1:14 and putting it back together: "And the Word became flesh and" what? "...dwelt," "...and dwelt among us." That's a fascinating verb in the Greek. It's actually better translated and more literally translated, "and tabernacled among us." That's what the Revised Version does in the margin rendering. John 1:14, "And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." Another translation that is a favorite of mine, because it's so accurate and literal, is the Rotherham. It's an excellent study Bible. The Emphasized Bible, John 1:14, puts it this way: "And the Word became flesh and pitched His tent among us." I like that. "The Word became flesh, and" what? "...pitched His tent among us." That's literally what the Greek is saying - tabernacled, tented among us. "And we gazed upon His glory, a glory, as an Only-begotten from His Father, full of favor and truth." My dear friends, that expression, what does that reminds us of? Exodus 25:8: "Let them make Me a sanctuary, that I might" what? "...dwell among them." You see, please know that the sanctuary on the desert floor - at the foot of Sinai - was a type of Christ incarnate. Did you hear what I just said? The sanctuary was a what? ...a type of Christ incarnate. You know, we as a people have studied the sanctuary for a long time as a type of the plan of salvation - and rightly so. But we have, by and large, overlooked the fact, that the sanctuary is first and foremost a type of Christ incarnate Himself. You see, the whole plan of salvation is embodied in a Person. Who is that Person? Jesus Christ. My dear friends, the sanctuary on the Sinai desert floor is first and foremost a type of Christ incarnate. This is why John is using this special language. By using it, he's saying we have here not only the anti-typical Lamb, we have here the antitypical sanctuary - we have here the anti-typical Priest. Jesus is the anti-type of the whole system. Do you see that? "The Word became flesh and tabernacled, or tented, among us." Listen to Desire of Ages, page 23: "Christ set up His tabernacle in the midst of our human encampment." Obviously, she sees Christ as the anti-typical sanctuary. "He pitched His tent by the side of the tents of men, that He might dwell among us, and make us familiar with His divine character and life." That's exactly what John's telling us, in verse 14 of chapter 1. OK? Do you see that? Now, the sanctuary is a type of Christ incarnate. I would love to explore that with you... Consider it just briefly; let me just pique your interest, and I would challenge you to do much further study of the sanctuary, as a type of Christ incarnate. By the way, there's a lot of controversy in our beloved Church, on the human nature of Jesus Christ. I want to weep... I want to weep when I see how this very issue, has divided us in many ways, in many places... I especially want to weep, when I see how un-christlike we can get talking about the nature of Christ. My dear friends, I don't want to wade into this controversy, but I do want to equip you with some precious light - that will help you see your way through it if you're in it, or prepare you for it - if you haven't seen it yet; because it'll probably come. Please understand, that one of the best ways to have a clear understanding of the human nature of Christ, is to consider the sanctuary as a type of that. Are you following? Think of it briefly with me quickly. Come with me to the Sinai desert floor. OK? Everything is orderly. We walk through neat rows - hundreds, thousands of them of the various tribes - all camped orderly around a wide-open space in the middle. And as we finally get to this wide-open space, what do we see, as we look out there in the middle? We see a larger tent. Question: Is it beautiful on the outside? No, it looks like everyone else's tent on the outside. It's covered with badger skins, just like everyone else's tent - kind of brown and black, mottled, very ordinarily looking on the outside. What's significant about that? What does that tell us about the human nature of Christ? That human tent... that human body that Christ assumed, was it extraordinarily attractive? Were people attracted to His physical appearance? Were they? No, not at all - just the opposite. In fact, listen to what Isaiah says; chapter 53, verse 2, "For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him." Very interesting. Do you see how perfectly the typical tent foreshadowed the anti-typical? Nothing attractive about it outside. Now, wait a minute though. What about on the inside? What about on the inside of that tent, in the middle of the Sinai desert floor? Was that like everyone else's tent? Was it? Come on now, was it? My dear friends, it was radically different from everyone else's tent on the inside. It was as exquisitely beautiful, as the most skilled craftsman could make anything, under the direct guidance of the Holy Spirit. Everything was executed to perfection and it was plated with the purest, most refined gold; and it was all illuminated by the in-dwelling Shekinah presence of God Himself. Those rich colors that were embroidered into the tapestry curtains were mirrored off those golden walls. It was breathtakingly beautiful in there. Do I here an "amen"? {Amen} Why? Because it was a type of Christ incarnate, in whom dwelt the fullness of the Godhead bodily. {Col 2:9} Amen? {Amen} In whom we have the brightness of His Father's character, veiled yes, veiled; but nevertheless the brightness was in Him. It was in Him... He was infinitely, exquisitely, beautiful in His character, my dear friends. Please know that. Bible Commentary, Volume 7, page 904: "Had He come among men with His noble, heavenly form, His outward appearance would have attracted the minds of the people to Him, and He would have been received without the exercise of faith... The faith of men in Christ as the Messiah was not to rest on the evidences of sight, and they believe on Him because of His personal attractions, but because of," what, friends? "...the excellence of CHARACTER found in Him, which never had been found, neither could be, in another." Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} Could you find the same beauty that you could find in the sanctuary - the center of the Sinai desert floor? Could you find that same beauty, in anybody else's tent in the whole encampment? Could you? No, you couldn't. You see, there's an excellence of character in Him which never has been found, neither could be found in another. Are we all together? Do you see what we can learn by looking at the sanctuary, as a type of Christ incarnate? Do you understand that? This will set you on the solid track towards truth, when it comes to studying the human nature of Jesus Christ. By the way, just take it a step further... There is so much more, but we don't have the time. What law...? Come on, work with me... What law was written upon the table of stones in the Holy of Holies, in that sanctuary in the middle of the Sinai desert floor? What law was it? Was it the law of selfishness? Come on now, was it? No! It was the law of what? ...the law of love... the law of God... My dear friends, Christ incarnate had the law of love written on His heart, right from the very beginning. And we will establish that very clearly, as we proceed with our study. Oh learn... please learn from the sanctuary, as a type of Christ incarnate. In Heavenly Places, page 201: "The Lord has united His nature with humanity, expressly that He might become a more distinguishable, and definite object for our contemplation and love." I like this, listen: "He invites us to draw near and contemplate the great light, the invisible God invested in robes of humanity emitting a glory so softened and subdued, that our eyes can endure the sight. Christ is the light of Heaven. In His face we shall see God." Amen? {Amen} But what has God graciously done to the light? By veiling it in humanity, He softened and subdued it, that our eyes can endure the sight. I say, "praise God for the incarnation." What so, you say? {Amen} And by the way, does this help us better understand that phrase in our key text, that I just noted in passing - the first night we were together? {L02 – p. 3 or 13'56"} 2 Corinthians 3:18, "But we all with," what? "...with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." Could Moses behold the glory with unveiled face? No. How come we can behold the glory with unveiled face? Because Jesus wore the veil. Amen? He veiled His divine glory in humanity, so that we could behold the glory with unveiled face. {Amen} Praise God for the incarnation. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} Praise God for the incarnation, my dear friends. Signs of the Times, April 4, 1895: "Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh, clothing his divinity with humanity in order that He might bring before the world the perfection of God in His own character. He came to represent God, not as a stern judge, but as a," what? "...a loving father... God is love. This was the great truth that Christ came to the world to reveal. Satan had so misrepresented the character of God to the world, that man stood remote from God; but Christ came to display to the world the Father's attributes, to represent the express image of His Father. The object of Christ's mission to the world was to," what? "...reveal the Father." Oh, yes. Did He succeed in doing that? Perfectly... In fact, what could He say to Philip when Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." John 14:9: "Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has," what? "...seen the Father; so how can you say, "Show us the Father?"'" You see my dear friends, Jesus was such a perfect revelation of His Father, that He could actually say, "If you've seen Me, you've," what? "...you've seen Him." Here's a remarkable statement. Listen. That I May Know Him, page 338: "Had God the Father come to our world and dwelt among us, humbling Himself, veiling His glory that humanity might look upon Him, the history that we have of the life of Christ would not have been changed..." {Amen} Isn't that a remarkable statement? "In every act of Jesus, in every lesson of His instruction, we are to see and hear and recognize God. In sight, in hearing, in effect, it is the voice and the movements of the Father." Jesus, in other words, was such a perfect revelation of His Father, that if His Father had been the One to come and reveal Himself, the history - down to all the details and all the words - would it been identical to the one we have recorded in the New Testament. What a perfect job He did... in fulfilling His mission to reveal God's glory to man. Listen to how Paul puts it, and this is such a crucial verse. Please focus with me now. I want to really focus in, on this verse. It's found in Hebrews 1:3. Here Paul speaks of Christ's perfect fulfillment of His mission and He does so, in a very unique and beautiful way. He uses Hebrew poetry. Now, His style of writing this book is significantly different from the style that he uses when he writes his letters to the Gentiles, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, etc. In fact, the style is so different in the book of Hebrews, that there are a lot of theologians that insist, that it couldn't possibly be authored by Paul. There is significant debate on the authorship of Hebrews, and also the content of Hebrews, is significantly different. He's talking about the sanctuary. But that can easily be explained in the fact that Paul is writing to his own people, of course. He can't talk to the Gentiles about the sanctuary. They don't understand that. But do the Jews understand the sanctuary? Yes. And he's using his typical style of Hebrew communication, which the Hebrews are very comfortable with. Now, I bring that out because I want you to see, that we have here in verse 3, a Hebrew poem. What do we have class? A Hebrew poem. Now, please understand that Hebrews made poetry, not like we do - not by rhyming phrases with the last word - but they made poetry by saying the same thing but in a different way. It's called "parallelism." The Old Testament is full of it - particularly the Book of Proverbs and Psalms, etc. Parallelism: say the same thing but in a different way - couplets, little parallels. We have here a Hebrew poem that describes beautifully, Jesus' perfect fulfillment of His mission, to reveal His Father's character. Listen to it. Phrase one, what does it say? Phrase one: "who being the brightness of His glory." This is in reference to Christ, and Paul is telling us that He is the brightness of His, the Father's, glory. Now, work with me on this. That word brightness, as we've noted earlier, means "undiminished outshining." OK? This is not just a reflection. This is the what? ...the brightness. This is the undiminished outshining of His Father's what? ...glory. What's glory class? Character. Paul is telling us that Jesus fully revealed the character perfection of His Father. Now, pause with me and think on this. God by definition is infinitely glorious. Amen? {Amen} He has an infinitely perfect character. Therefore, if Christ reveals the fullness - the brightness of God's glory, Christ too, must have revealed an infinitely perfect character. Are you with me? Does that make sense? Question is, did He? Look at Testimonies Volume 6, page 60. Listen closely: "The life of Christ reveals an infinitely perfect character." Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} Was it just a perfect character that Christ revealed? Come on now, was it just perfect? No, it was what? ...it was infinitely perfect. Now, I cannot overemphasize the importance of grasping that concept. That comes very significantly into play in a later study. So, just note it carefully right now. What kind of character perfection did Christ reveal? An infinitely perfect character. He was the brightness of His Father's glory. He wasn't a faint reflection. He didn't come short of the glory. {Rom 3:23} Are you following this? He revealed an infinitely perfect character. That's what Paul is saying by using those words: "the brightness of His Father's glory." Now, the second line in the poem is very, very interesting. It says the same thing but in a different way. Now, you and I can't recognize that, unless we take a look at the original language. Please, allow me to do that with you. There is a very unique Greek word that is used in this second phrase of our poem. What is the second phrase of the poem? "And the express image of His person" First phrase: "the brightness of His glory." Second phrase: "the express image of His person." There is one word in the Greek that is translated: "express image" - just one. You'll be surprised what it is. It's the word "khar-ak-tare." {Strong's G5481} What do you hear? Character. It's only used one time in the entire New Testament, right here in this poem. It is the word what? "...khar-ak-tare," And by the way, it's fascinating that this word is used in many, many languages: Spanish, French, all sorts of languages, English, even Russian. I was over in Russia giving this series here ...and my translator... when I said character, he said, "Khar-ak-tare." And I looked surprised. They have the same word. You know it's interesting, there are certain words that seem to be so important, that God has evidently protected them from the typical changes from one language to another. What's another word like that? Sabbath. Sabbath. Character is like that as well; and we all get it from this Greek word, "khar-ak-tare." Well, it's interesting, there's some possibility and debate that it might come from originally a Hebrew word, even the Greek. "Khar-ak-tare;" what does this Greek word mean? It's very interesting. Do a little etymological study, a little word study with me. Ok? Are you ready to do this? Let's get our hands on the most ancient manuscripts we can find. Now, please know that we can study Greek manuscripts that significantly pre-date New Testament writings - you know that - far more ancient than New Testament writings. OK? We get our hands on these ancient Greek documents, and we look through - we're looking for the word "khar-ak-tare" because we want to get an understanding of it's meaning, its definition. ...and we discover, that in the most ancient manuscripts, the word "khar-ak-tare," refers to a coin minter or an engraver. Very interesting. Refers to what? ...a coin minter or an engraver. Then with the passage of time, the meaning changes as words often do, and as we continue to study and get our hands on less ancient - but still pre-dating New Testament times, less ancient Greek manuscripts - we discover that the word "khar-ak-tare," has kind of evolved a bit, and it has come to refer to the tools that an engraver uses. A die or a stamp, or even a branding iron, are referred to, as "khar-ak-tare." Then, as we continue to study and we trace it's use to New Testament times, we discover that it has evolved even further, and now it refers to the actual engraving itself, made with the tools by the engraver - the etching, the mark, or the seal made by the engraver. The closest we have to this, is say our expression, Chinese characters. What are Chinese characters? They're little pictures, little engravings made with a tool. Are you following? By New Testament times, it refers to the engraving, the mark, or the seal made by the tools of the engraver. The mark or the seal... the mark or the seal, are those familiar words? Oh, my dear friends, think with me now. What is it that determines our destiny? What is it? It is our "khar-ak-tare." Are you with me? It's the mark or the seal. And where is this mark or seal found? Come on, where is it found? It's found on the forehead. Is that some kind of a visible sign? 666 ooh, sorry brother. 777 ah, you're in. You're in. Is it something we can see? What is it? It's our character, my dear friends. It's our thoughts and feelings; {5T 310.1} and it is our thoughts and feelings, as conformed to either the law of love or the law of selfishness. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} You see, what is it that lies up here behind the forehead? What is it called? It's called the frontal lobe, and that's where our conscience resides. Are you with me? That's where the law of God is written. You and I, for the love of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit, need to learn to bring our thoughts and feelings - come on, thoughts and feelings combined - what are we talking about? Character. We need to learn to bring our thoughts and feelings into compliance with the spirit of the law, which is love. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} ...and that is the character that is sealed for eternity. Did you hear what I just said? Now, some of you might be saying, "Well wait a minute, I thought the mark and the seal had to do with which day of the week you go to church on." Well, bless your hearts, yes it's certainly related to that; but please, please, fellow Seventh-day Adventists... You know, I get so worried about so many Seventh-day Adventists, who pat themselves on the back and are well assured they're going to be fine when Jesus comes, because they know which day of the week to go to the church on... and they are going to be found with the seal. Oh, my dear friends, think with me. Please think with me; it's much deeper. A seal involves who you love supremely, and you and I need to come to the place where we love God so much, that we would gladly, what? ...die rather than disobey Him. {5T 53.2} That's the character that is fit for heaven. That is the seal. Yes, there will be an issue. It happens to be over the fourth commandment, that will give every one of us, an opportunity to prove whether we have that kind of love or not. But don't think, all the seal involves is knowing when to go to church. Do you hear me? {Amen} And please, don't think that you're going to be willing to die rather than break the fourth commandment, unless you've come to love Jesus so much, you'd gladly die than break any of the other nine either. {Amen} Do you hear what I'm telling you? {Yes} This seal involves a lot more than most of us realize. It's being so settled into the truth, for the love of Jesus Christ, {2 Cor 5:14} that we would gladly give our own lives rather than to disobey, disappoint, or misrepresent Him in any way. {GC 619.1} That's the seal, and I want you to have it when Jesus comes. I want to have it when Jesus comes. But my dear friends, that's not going to happen overnight. Do you hear me? That's something we've got to grow into, from glory to glory. We've got to start growing in our love for Jesus, to the point where we're going be willing to die for Him rather than disobey Him; and we've got to start doing that, now. Back to our text, back to our text. Jesus, He's the "Khar-ak-tare" of the Father. Do you see what a perfect word that is for Paul to use in his beautiful little poem? What is Jesus? Well, He's the Engraver, isn't He? Isn't He the One who engraved us initially? In His likeness? Isn't He the Coin Minter that made us... with His law inscribed upon us? ...and His likeness impressed upon us? Yes. ...and then, when we became lost coins {Lk 15:8-10}, what did He do? He was sent by the Father as the tools to re-engrave us. Amen? ...and then, what is He? He is the actual engraving Himself, that we are being restored into the likeness of. He's the "Khar-ak-tare" of the Father. What a beautiful word for Jesus. Amen? Do you see it my friends? Do you see it? I pray that you do. Oh, brother, sister, listen to how Moffat puts this verse: "He, reflecting God's bright glory and," what? "...stamped with God's own character..." {Heb 1:3} That's what literally the Greek is saying. Jesus is what? ...He's stamped with God's own character. Oh, let me close quickly with a precious parable. Luke 15:8: "Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully, until she finds it? And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost.' Likewise, I say to you there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Some of you might be wondering, "Why have we gone here?" Oh, my dear friends, what does the Lord use to represent us in this parable? A coin. Remember, what's the most ancient meaning of the word "khar-ak-tare"? Coin minter. When our divine "Khar-ak-tare" first minted us, when He created us; what did He do? He inscribed upon our hearts His, what? ...His law, and He engraved upon our being His, what? ...His likeness {Gen 1:26} - like any good coin we were minted to reveal the image of the Sovereign of the realm. Amen? ...and He minted us, intending us to be the currency of the universe, so that all intelligent beings could look at this coin and draw accurate and beautiful conclusions, regarding what the Sovereign of the realm was like. That's why He minted us in His image. But we became what? ...lost coins, lost coins... and for 6,000 years, we've been groveling in the filth of the dirt of planet earth, and the self-styled prince of this world has been grinding us under his heel; trying to obliterate even the vestiges of both, the law and likeness of God, from our coins. But praise God, He still desires us. He sees value in us, so what did He do? The Coin Minter became one of us to seek and to save the lost; {Lk 19:10} and He lights the world like the lady lights the house. He lights it with the revelation of God's love, and it shines brightest, where? ...as He hangs on the cross; and in the light that emanates from Christ and Him crucified, lost coins are found. Amen? And what must we do, my dear friends? What must we do? We must entrust ourselves into the consummately skilled hands of the engraver; and what does He do? He re-inscribes, in fulfillment of His new covenant promise - once again the law - on the fleshly tables of our hearts. {2 Cor 3:3} Then, for the love of Christ, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, we learn to bring our thoughts and feelings into harmony with the Spirit of the law. Amen? ...and we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. {Rom 12:2} We are changed from what? ...glory to glory; and His likeness, His image, is restored in us. But my dear friends, that process must take place. Otherwise, we will not be ready to be gathered and taken to the bank of heaven, when the Coin Minter comes to gather His coins; and when He comes... when He comes... He will have a question to ask. What will it be? Mark 12:16: "Whose image and inscription is this?" Whose image and inscription? Whose likeness, whose inscription? Whose law is written upon the fleshly table of this heart? Whose likeness is revealed in this life? ...and the answer to that question will determine our destiny. Do I hear an "amen"? {Amen} If the inscription is the law of love, the likeness is that of God. And what will the Coin Minter be able to say? "Render unto God the things that are God's." But if the inscription is the law of selfishness, whose likeness will be on the coin? Satan's, and what will he have to say? "Render unto Satan the things that are Satan's." My dear friends please, let the Coin Minter re-mint you; for the sake of Christ and for your own, learn how to cooperate with that re-minting process. I want Him to be able to say of everyone in this room, "Render unto God the things that are God's." Will you stand with me for closing prayer? Father in Heaven, thank You so much for sending Jesus to reveal Your glory to us; and thank you, that He is the Coin Minter Himself, and He surely is able to restore Your glory in us. Teach us to cooperate, that when He comes we will be ready to go home and once again, be the currency of the universe to give glory to You through the ceaseless ages of eternity. Grant this, for we ask it in His name. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 58 minutes and 31 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Revival Seminars
Director: Phil
Views: 1,064
Posted by: ludo on Dec 18, 2009

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth. Jn 1:14 --- www.RevivalSeminars.org

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