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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.”

Thank you for coming back. Obviously we didn’t manage to cover all of the material in our introductory study. But there’s a promise that I want to just share with you before we proceed with Lesson 2. Counsels on Sabbath School Work, page 34 and 35. You’ll find it up towards to the top of page 4. Listen to this: “As soon as the seeker for truth opens the Bible to read the utterances of God with reverence, possessing an earnest desire to know ‘what saith the Lord.’ light and grace will be given him, and he will see wondrous things out of God’s law…” She’s quoting there, of course, David and Psalms. {Ps 119:18} “Great truths which have been neglected and unappreciated for ages, will be revealed by the Spirit of God, and new meaning will flash out of familiar texts. Every page will be illuminated by the Spirit of Truth… The most precious truths are revealed, the living oracles are heard by wondering ears, and the consciences of men are aroused into action.” Do you want that experience, my dear friends? Oh, I pray that you do; and it can be ours, as we study diligently with the help and by the power of the Spirit of Truth. Amen? {Amen.} It can be our, it can be ours. And we need it. Oh, we need it. Prophets and Kings, page 626: “Christians should be preparing for what is soon to break upon the world as an overwhelming surprise, and this preparation they should make by diligently studying the Word of God and striving to conform their lives to its precepts. The tremendous issues of eternity demand of us something besides an imaginary religion, a religion of words and forms, where truth is kept in the outer court. God calls for a revival and a reformation.” Amen? {Amen.} In fact, the last one Review & Herald, March 22, 1887: “A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work.” My dear friends, this revival series that we are having at this church, has the potential of meeting that greatest and most urgent need, bringing true revival and reformation to us as a people. If… if… we diligently study God’s word under the influence of the Holy Spirit, it will be a life-changing experience. It will bring new life. That is what it means to be revived. It means to have a whole new experience in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Where it becomes much more than just something that is reserved for the outer court. But it comes in and changes us from the very center of our being by transforming our minds. And that can enable us to experience a true reformation.

You see, revival always leads to, what? Reformation. But… a reformation that is the result of a genuine revival is more than just white wash. {Mat 23:27} Is more than just a form of godliness. {2 Tim 3:5} It’s a transformed life, yes. But it is genuine because it springs from a transformed heart, a transformed mind. We are doing the right things for the right reasons. And that’s when our Christian experience not only becomes a joy to us, but it becomes winsome and attractive to others; and we can become effective witnesses for our King as well as fit citizens for His Kingdom.

Now… we need to proceed with our study and launch into the key text for the whole seminar. But before we open the Bible we must do, what? We must open our hearts. You know… I just want to share that with you as a memory device. I’ve been using it for some time and it’s helpful. It’s frightening how self-sufficient we tend to be when it comes to studying God’s Word. Will you admit that with me? God help us get over that self-sufficiency. And I’ve been trying to remind myself with this simple memory device: before I open my Bible I need to open the door of my heart and invite the Holy Spirit to come in. It’s profoundly significant, my dear friends, that those beautiful words “Behold, I stand at the door and knock…” {Rev 3:20} are addressed to whom? …the Laodicean Church. Yes, they’re addressed to the Laodicean Church. Now… that’s a solemn indictment, really, because it tells us that Jesus is outside. But, praise God, it also assures us that He wants to come, where? …inside. But does He ever force Himself? Honest. Does He ever barge in? No. He, what? He stands at the door and knocks.

You’ve seen the artist’s rendering of that text, haven’t you? Jesus standing at the door and knocking. Have you looked closely at the door? What’s unique about that door? There’s no door knob. What’s the artist trying to tell us? If it’s going to be opened it’s going to be opened from where? …from the inside. You see… Jesus is a Gentleman. He doesn’t force Himself on anyone. He knocks. Do you hear that knock? Please, take this opportunity to open the door and ask Him to come in and, what? …sup with you. Or as the New King James says, “dine with you.” You see, sup is to supper as dine is to dinner. It means to eat with you. We’re about to partake of another spiritual meal. We’re going to feed on the Bread of Life. But, my dear friends, if you try… Hear me now! Please get this! If we try to feed ourselves the Bread of Life without inviting the Holy Spirit to come in and sup with us, we will only end up with a serious case of spiritual indigestion. Did you hear what I said? Why? Because without the help of the Holy Spirit you have no hungering and thirsting, no natural appetite for spiritual things; and if you try to feed yourself something you have no appetite for that’s going to be a problem. You might be able to gag it down but you’re not going to enjoy it. Furthermore, get this point, it takes the Holy Spirit in order to enable us to digest the Bread of Life. You see… what do you need in order to be able to digest physical bread? What is it called? Enzymes. You know that. Right? It takes enzymes to break down the food so that you can be nourished by its nutrition. We must have, my dear friends, the enzyme of the Holy Spirit to break down the Bread of Life, that we might be nourished by it and strengthened by it. You see… you are what you eat, and that’s especially true what you feed your mind… and your spirit. And we’re about to feed our mind… and our spirit the Bread of Life, the true food. Amen? {Amen.} Jesus said: “Whoever eats of My flesh will have…” what? “…life.” What was He talking about? The flesh profits nothing, He says in John 6:63, “The words that I speak to you are…” what? “…spirit and life.” We’re to feed on His Word but we can’t possibly experience spiritual growth, and health, and well-being, as the result of this meal, unless we are able to digest it with the enzymes of the Holy Spirit. If you don’t have the enzymes of the Holy Spirit you’re just going to… Yes… You’re going to want it gag it all up again. Well, I’m speaking pretty graphically but I want you to understand how crucial it is to have the Holy Spirit if we are going to be blessed by this meal. Are we all together?

Okay… let’s take a few moments on our knees and personally go to the door, open it up and ask Him to come in and sup with us. When you pray for yourself, would you remember to pray for your brother here? I’m standing in the need of prayer.

My Father in Heaven, in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord our Righteousness, I come boldly into Your presence. Bold not because I think myself worthy of an audience with you but because worthy is the Lamb that was slain. Oh, thank you Lord for the new and living way that You have provided at such infinite cost. Thank you that I’m accepted in the Beloved, washed with His blood and clothed with His spotless fleece, I can stand before You in confidence of Your full acceptance. …and it gives me… it gives me a boldness to ask that You would bless us in a special way, as we proceed with our study tonight. Pour out the Holy Spirit upon us Lord God. We want to see new light. So, illuminate the page of the Holy Word and give us that supernatural capacity to see the light with spiritual discernment. Help us not only to understand it, help us to appreciate it and most importantly, help us to stand under it. We open the door of our heart, we say: “Come in, heavenly Guest, come in and sup with us.” I say to You, Father, please condescend to use me as a channel of the blessing of truth; is my prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Our key text for the entire seminar is 2 Corinthians 3:18. It is from this text that we have taken the title “From Glory to Glory,” and the title of our lesson, lesson 2: “The Glory of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 sums up most succinctly and concisely, the essence of Christian character development. But in order to recognize that, you need to take a little closer look at the words with me. Okay? We’re not going to be content with just surface work in this seminar. We are going to really do some digging in the various passages that we are going to be considering. 2 Corinthians 3:18 from the New King James sounds like this: “But we all…” Please note, personal pronoun that includes the author, Paul. He is obviously including himself talking then to Christians. Okay? All of us believers. “We all with unveiled face…” Here, right off the bat, we have an interesting example of how the New King James has rendered more precisely, the original language than the King James. The King James says at this point, “…but we all with open face;” which is reasonably accurate but it doesn’t let us know that Paul is making a contrast… a significant contrast between our experience and that of Moses. If you look up 2 Corinthians, chapter 3, you will note that in verse 13 Paul says that Moses had to put a, what? …a veil over his face. In contrast in verse 18, he says, “…but we all with unveiled face.” Same word in the Greek, it’s now in the verb form. Same word. Very interesting… In other words, there is a difference between our experience and Moses’. Moses had a veil – we don’t need a veil. Now I just wanted to point out, that we will talk about its significance later on in the seminar. {L08 – p. 7 or 35’36”} Reading on: “But we all, with unveiled face,” What are we doing? “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.” So much profound truth enfolded in that verse… So much. Work with me on it. “But we all with unveiled face,” what are we doing? “We are beholding as in a mirror.” King James says beholding in as a glass, which is the old fashioned word for “mirror.” Now… watch closely here. The Greek expression that is translated “as in a mirror” can also be translated very accurately, “as a mirror”. Beholding as in a mirror or beholding as a mirror. The Greek language will let you go either way. By the way, it’s interesting some of the newer translations have gone “beholding as a mirror.”

Now, which one did Paul have in mind? Did he have in mind beholding as in a mirror? In other words, beholding something as it is reflected to us. Or did he have in mind beholding as a mirror? Beholding for the purpose of reflecting. Which did he have in mind? I think he had both. And I think that he intentionally used this expression because he wanted us to behold the glory of the Lord as it’s reflected to us. But for the purpose of what? …reflecting it to others. Does that make sense? Beholding as in a mirror, yes, but beholding as a mirror as well, for the purpose of reflecting to others. Now, what are we beholding as in a mirror or as a mirror? What? What is it? Next line: “…the glory of the Lord…” …we’ll pause before we unpack that. As we do this, as we behold as in a mirror or as a mirror, the glory of the Lord – what is happening? We are being transformed. We are, what? …being transformed. Now please, those of you who have the King James, do yourselves a favor. The King James says, “…are changed.” I don’t have a problem with the fact that they say “changed” rather than “transformed.” The inadequacy of that translation lies in the verb tense. Follow me, please. “…are being transformed.” is much closer to the Greek verb tense. You see, the Greek verb tense is in the present active. Now the present active tense in the Greek, take careful note of this, the present active tense in the Greek is unlike anything that we have in the English language. You use the present active tense in the Greek when you wanted to indicate ongoing continuous action, whatever that action was. In this case, it’s transformation or change. The closest we can come in the English to the Greek sense of this verb, is what the New King James has done: “…we are being transformed.” “Being changed” … you get the feel there? It’s something that is, what? …ongoing… it’s progressive… it’s continual, it’s something that keeps on happening. You see, “are changed” almost sounds as if it happens at a point in time and okay it’s all through. Now, what’s next Lord? I’m changed. Is that the way the Christian experience goes? Oh no, my dear friends. This transformation is the work of a, what? …a lifetime. {3T 325.2} We are continually in the process of change or transformation. Very important concept to make sure you understand there. We are being transformed.

Being transformed into what? …into the same image. What’s that? Well, that’s the Glory of the Lord. You see, the truism that we get from this verse is stated this way. In beholding we are changed, changed into the likeness of what we behold. Have you ever heard that? We are changed into the likeness of what we behold. Now, the Bible doesn’t say it that way, but it does state that truth in this verse. We are being transformed into the same image. What is that? Well, it’s what we are beholding… and what is it that we are beholding? The Glory of the Lord. So, if we’re being changed into the same image, how are we going to be changed? “…from glory to glory.” Changed into the likeness of what we behold progressively. You see, the progressive nature of the change is brought out quite clearly there: “from glory to glory.” From one stage of character development to another. Always and continually approaching the likeness of what we are beholding. Does that make sense?

Now… key concept; don’t miss this! Who is it that changes us? Do we change ourselves? Can we change ourselves? No more than a leopard can change his spots, or an Ethiopian the color of his skin. We must be changed, my dear friends. We must what? …be changed. Work with me on that. What kind of verb is that? Come on English students, help me out here. “Be changed.” What kind of verb is that? Passive. Passive verb. We must be changed. You know what a passive verb is? You’re looking a little blank here. Those English classes were a long time ago, weren’t they? Yes! A passive verb is in contrast to an active verb. What is an active verb? That’s something you do. Okay? I run. That’s an active verb. I’m doing it. I was run over. That’s a passive verb. It was done to me. Are you following this? Being changed is a passive verb. It is something that is what? …done to us. Now, who is it that changes us? Who alone can change us? Last line: “even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Do I hear an Amen? {Amen.} You can’t change yourself, I can’t change myself. We must be changed. This is a passive verb, but watch out! Please follow me! Though this is a passive verb, though we can’t change ourselves, does that mean that we have nothing to do in the process? Does that mean we just sit back, relax, let go and let God? Is that what that means? Most emphatically no, it does not mean that, dear friends, please… …don’t let yourself come to that conclusion.

We have an absolutely essential, active, cooperative role to play if we are going to be changed by the Holy Spirit! What is it? What’s our cooperative role? From the very text itself, tell me what’s our cooperative role? If we are going to be changed “From Glory to Glory” by the power of the Holy Spirit, what must we be doing? …beholding the glory of the Lord. Do I hear an Amen? {Amen.} You see, you are changed into the likeness of what you behold. Only the Holy Spirit can change you, but the Holy Spirit can’t even change you unless you are cooperating by beholding the glory of the Lord… …and everyone said, come on… {Amen.} This is not optional, dear friends. This is absolutely essential. You and I cannot be changed into the likeness of what we behold… We cannot be changed into the likeness of the glory of the Lord unless we are beholding the glory of the Lord. Cannot. Okay. That leads us to the next question.

What is the glory of the Lord? What is the glory of the Lord? This is so crucial. Please follow. I want to give you a Biblical answer to that question because that is so fundamental. Turn with me to Exodus 33. And it would be good to turn in your Bible to it, to underline it, if it’s not underlined, but if you want to use the printout, it’s there. Exodus 33, verses 18 and 19. I want you to listen in on a conversation between Moses and God on Mount Sinai. You know the story. Moses has been up on the mountain already he’s received the two tables of stone. He came down, discovered the children of Israel dancing around the golden calf, threw the tables of stone down, shattered them. Hurries back up to intercede in behalf of the children of Israel. Right? A type of Christ, a beautiful type of Christ in this role. But he makes a remarkable request in verse 18, while up there with God. What does he say? “And he said, ‘Please'” or in the more familiar King James “I pray thee.” “Show me your” what? “…glory.” Specifically Moses is asking to see what? …God’s glory. Now, we are about to find out what God’s glory is, aren’t we? What is it that God reveals to Moses in answer to, and consenting to his request to see God’s Glory? What is it that God is about to reveal to him? Look at the next verse. Verse 19. “Then He,” capital ‘H’, this is God speaking, “then he said: ‘I will make all my…’” what? “‘…my goodness pass before you and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. ‘” Very interesting. God’s glory evidently has something to do with His goodness. What’s that? That’s the moral quality of His person, and it also has something to do with His name. Does that make sense? Now, let’s listen as God proceeds to reveal His goodness by proclaiming His name. Come with me to chapter 34, verses 5 and following: “Then the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.” Isn’t that what He said He was going to do? Yes. What is this name? “…and the LORD passed before him and proclaimed ‘The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty… ‘” What do we have here? In the proclamation of His name, what do we have here? …we have the virtues that constitute His character. Are we all together? Conclusion then: what is God’s glory? It is His character. Amen? {Amen.} God’s glory is His, what? …His character. Now we have established that from Scripture.

Let’s confirm it from the inspired commentary on Scripture that we enjoy as a people. Review and Herald, November 3, 1896. Bottom of page 4. Are you seeing where we are? “It is His righteous character that constitutes the glory of God…” Are we all together? What is God’s glory? It is His righteous character? My dear friends, I cannot possibly overemphasize the importance of understanding what we just shared, and hanging on to it. Why? Well, we are proposing to study what saith the Lord on this topic of character building. Right? We assured you of that in our introductory study. Now, in order to understand, however, what saith the Lord on this topic, we have got to know what the Biblical term for the concept is. You see… if you were to be convicted that character building is the most important work ever entrusted to human beings and that never before was its diligent study so important as now. {Ed 225} And you would go home determined to find out what the Bible has to say about the character building, what would you probably do? Well, you’d probably go to your library shelf and pull down your Concordance, your Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. Right? Blow the dust off, and then what word would you look up? Character, right? You want to find out what the Bible has to say about character building. You’d look up the word “character.” What would you discover? Have you ever done that? The Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance. Now, what’s the exhaustive concordance? That’s the one that has every single word in the Bible in it, even all the “thes” and ‘a’s.” If it’s exhaustive, it’s got to have all of those listed. Even stuff you’d never bother to look up. Okay, the exhaustive concordance. You try it. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance for the King James Bible. Look up the word “character.” What will you discover? It’s not there. It’s not there. Not even once does the King James Bible have the word “character” in it, and if you didn’t know better, what might you conclude? The Bible has nothing to say about character building. What’s that seminar speaker talking about? The most important work ever entrusted to human beings. Obviously the Bible isn’t concerned about it, it doesn’t even talk about it. Would that be the right conclusion? Oh, my dear friends, that would be radically the wrong conclusion to come to.

I insist, please hear me. I insist that the whole of Scripture is predominantly and consistently concerned about our being restored into the character likeness of our Creator. It is the all encompassing theme of the Bible. But you won’t recognize that and appreciate that, until you understand the Biblical term for “character;” and what is it? It’s g-l-o-r-y. It’s glory! Get down your Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and look up “Glory” and you will have page after page after page of material on character. Because the Biblical term for “character” is what? …is glory. Are we all together? Now, there are other terms that are also used in reference to character; “name” is one, as you saw closely associated here when Moses said, “I pray Thee, show me Thy glory.” God said, “I will proclaim My” what? “…my name.” “Grace” is, in a very real sense, also closely related to character. At times, virtually synonymous with it. We will explain that, as we go on. But the primary term in Scripture for character is, what? …is glory. Now hang on to that key. That is a precious exegetical key. Ooo, there’s a big word. What’s an exegetical key? What’s exegesis? That’s the study of the Bible. Unlocking the truth. Unlocking the passages of Scripture that we might come to understand the truth. That’s exegesis. And we just gave you a precious exegetical key that it will help you unlock precious truth. Particularly in those passages in which you find the word “glory.” Now, if your experience is anything like mine, before I had this exegetical key and understood that the Biblical term for character is “glory;” whenever I came across the word “glory,” I thought that that simply meant some kind of bright light. Right? You know, glory, whoa… God’s glory is very bright. Yes, God’s glory is bright. Yes, it is associated with light. But please know, my dear friends, God’s glory is primarily His character. Amen?

Now whenever, from this moment on, if it hasn’t been your practice before; whenever you come across the word glory in Scripture, from this moment on I want you to think, what? …character; and if you just hang on to that, you will be well on your way to finding out what the Bible has to say about character building. Let me give you a quick example. Turn with me to Isaiah, chapter 60. Isaiah, chapter 60. I’m going to look it up in my Bible. You have it printed out there. But, it’s good to look it up in the Bible. This passage of Scripture is particularly relevant to, and applies to us, my dear friends, in these closing hours of earth’s history. Yes, it is a prophetic passage that has a dual application. Its first application was to the first advent of Christ, and that has been fulfilled. But it has a secondary, a dual, application and it refers to God’s church just prior to the second advent of Christ. I’m going to focus with you on its secondary prophetic application. Are you with me? Hear this, as addressed to us in these closing hours of earth’s history. Listen to the urgency in the voice of the prophet: “Arise, shine” Do what? “…arise, shine.” Okay Isaiah, but how? How can we shine? The answer follows. “For your light has come!” Can you shine without light? No! So if we are going to arise and shine, we must have light. Okay how, Isaiah, do we receive this light? Where does this light come from? Listen. Next line: “And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.” Now what word did you just hear there, class? Glory. What did you do? You immediately thought, what? Come on. …character. You used your exegetical key and you realized that what Isaiah is talking about here is the character of God as revealed in Whom? …the Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen? {Amen.} You see, Jesus Christ is “the brightness,” Hebrews 1, verse 3, “He is the brightness of God’s glory.” Amen? In other words, He’s the undiminished outshining of God’s character. Remember? Glory means what? …character. So when the Bible says that Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory, it is really telling us that Jesus is undiminished outshining of the character of God. He is the Sun of Righteousness. S-U-N. Okay, He’s the what? …He is the Sun of Righteousness. He’s the undiminished outshining of the light regarding the character of God; and that is shining upon us. That’s the source of light. Okay?

How then, are we to shine? How are we to shine? Look at the next verse. Verse 2: “For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people…” By the way, the King James says: “…gross darkness the people.” Actually, I like that better. My dear friends, these two lines tell us very clearly that this passage applies especially to when? …right now. Question: when is it the darkest? Just before the dawn. The Sun of Righteousness is just about to return. Do I hear an “amen”? So, what would we expect planet Earth to be enveloped in? Gross darkness. Isn’t that the way it was before the first fulfillment of this passage? With the first advent of Christ? Oh, planet Earth and the human race were enveloped in gross darkness, my dear friends; and so it is before the second advent. There is deep darkness. Deep darkness over the people. Gross darkness. How is it that we are to shine in this gross darkness? Look at the last line in verse 2: “And His glory will be seen,” where? “…upon you.” Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen.}

What are we to do? We are to behold the glory as it’s reflected to us, but for the purpose of what? …reflecting it to others. That is the only way we can shine. Amen? {Amen.} You can’t generate your own light. You can only reflect the Light of Truth as it shines upon you. As it’s revealed to you in the life of Jesus Christ. And what is the truth? The truth is the simple profound fact that God is love. {1 Jn 4:8} Amen? {Amen.} The character of God in one word is love, my dear friends; and as we behold that lovely revelation, in beholding we will be what? …changed. Changed into the likeness of what we behold. From what? “…from glory to glory;” {2 Cor 3:18} and that’s the only way any of us can shine. There’s no other way! There is no other way.

And watch the next verse, please. Notice what happens to our effectiveness as soul-winners when we reflect the character of Christ? Look at the next verse: “The Gentiles shall” what? “…shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.” Do you hear that my friends? When is it that we will become effective soul-winners? When is it that we will be used by the power of the Holy Spirit to draw people into a saving relationship with Jesus? When? Only when they see the character of Jesus reflected in our lives. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen.} If they don’t see the glory will they be drawn? Will they come? No, they won’t. And bless your hearts… forgive me… but I’ve got to say it. Have we possibly put our finger on precisely the reason our soul-winning efforts aren’t as effective as we’d like them to be? Come on now, will you admit that with me? Will you admit that with me? Please notice. It says… It says, “When His glory will be seen upon us.” It says, “Gentiles shall come to your light.” They shall come. You see my dear friends, before we can be effective witnesses for the King, we’ve got to have the character likeness of the King. Amen? {Amen.} It’s only when people see the love of Christ reflected in our lives, that they will be attracted to Christ through our mirror. Does that make sense to you? Do you understand what I’m trying to explain?

We aren’t to attract people to ourselves, we’re to attract people to Jesus; but we do that, as we reflect the loveliness of Jesus to them. And if we aren’t reflecting the character, the glory of Jesus to others, they won’t be drawn. They won’t be drawn. You see… what we need as a people, what this church needs… is not more eloquent and powerful evangelists, as important as those are. What we really need – if we are ever going to get the job done – is to become more loving and lovable people. {Amen.} All of us! Everyone is to be a soul-winner, and every single one of us, should be reflecting the glory, the character of Jesus Christ. As we do that to those with whom we associate, they will sit up and take note! …and they’ll will say, “Hey, what is it with you people? What makes you so different? How come you’re so happy? How come you get along so well in your marriages? Ooo!! How come you get along so well in your churches? How come you all are united and love each other? How come you get along so well with your children? And children, how come you get along so well with your parents? What is it? Tell us! You’ve got something special.” You see, my dear friends, Love – genuine, uniting love – is a pretty rare commodity on planet earth these days. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen.} And when people see it, they sit up and take note! It’s pretty extraordinary to see real genuine, selfless, love, going on; and it’s a beautiful thing… …it’s a beautiful thing… It brings health and happiness and peace and joy to those who have it, and know it in all of their relationships; and that, my dear friends, is the most powerful sermon anyone can ever preach. It’s not preached with the mouth, it’s preached with the life. {Amen.} That’s what it means to be a living epistle. When we become loving and lovable people, my dear friends, we are going to be powerfully, effective soul-winners. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen.} That’s the secret right there to effective soul-winning. It’s becoming a loving and lovable person. A loving and lovable person. Now…

Work with me on this a bit further. I love this concept. Jesus is the Sun of Righteousness. He’s undiminished outshining of His Father glory. He is the source of this light. What is the church to be? What is the symbol for the church in Scripture? It’s the woman, yes. Turn with me to Revelation, chapter 12. Revelation, chapter 12, identifies this type very clearly: “Now a great sign appeared…” verse one. “Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the…” what? “…the sun.” This woman is the symbol of the Church. But what makes her beautiful? What’s she clothed with? What’s she reflecting? The light of the Sun of Righteousness, Jesus Christ. The character of Christ. That’s what makes her beautiful. But notice something else that we often overlook. What is this woman standing on? Look! Next line: “With the moon under her… feet” What’s under her feet? The moon. My dear friends, I insist that that as well, is a type of the church; and indeed, a very appropriate type.

Think of it with me. How does the moon shine? {by reflecting the sun} What’s the only way the moon can shine? It’s by reflecting the light of the sun. Does the moon have any light of is own? Does it generate any light of its own? No. The only way then, the moon can shine is by what? …reflecting. When does the moon shine? When? At night. At night. “Behold darkness shall cover the Earth and gross darkness the people.” {Is 60:2} My dear friends, do you see what an appropriate symbol for the church, the moon is? You know… …I long with all of my heart… …please, hear me. I long with all of my heart for this church to be a full moon for Jesus Christ. A full moon for Jesus Christ. Brother, sister, please… …don’t be content to be just a crescent moon. Be a full moon. Allow the love of Christ to draw you into alignment with his will, and keep your eyes on Him; and in beholding you will be what? …changed, from what? “…glory to glory,” from one stage of character development to another. From a crescent moon to a quarter moon, to a half moon, to a three quarter moon, until finally you are a, what? …a full moon for Jesus. You’re shining as bright as you can. Shining as bright as you can with the reflected character of Jesus Christ. Can that be our experience? Yes it can. Must that be our experience if we’re going to be ready to go home with Jesus? Yes, it must, my dear friends. It must! If we are going to be either effective witnesses for the King or fit citizens for the Kingdom, we have got to learn to reflect the character of Christ to the fullness of our sin-damaged capacity. Even a full moon though, compared to the sun, is what? …a faint reflection.

Look, Testimonies, Volume 2, page 617 and 618: “He had a mighty influence, for He was the Son of God. We are so far beneath Him and so far deficient, that, to do the very best we can our efforts will be poor. We cannot gain and posses the influence that He had; but why should we not educate ourselves to come just as near to the Pattern as it is possible for us to do, that we may have the greatest possible influence upon the people?” Oh friends… God doesn’t expect us to shine as bright as the Sun, but He expects us to shine as bright as we can. Is that expecting too much? No. Is that unreasonable? No. He doesn’t expect us to be suns, but He expects us to be full moons! Amen? {Amen.} Full moons. Realizing that even a full moon is but a faint reflection of the sun. Here is another one that is applicable. This Day with God, the morning watch book, page 98: “We need not think that because we are only a tiny light that we need not be particular about shining. The great value of our light lies in its consistency in shining amid the moral darkness of the world, in shining not to please ourselves and glorify ourselves, but to honor God with all there is of us. If we are doing service for God, and our work is corresponding with the ability God has given us, that is all He expects of us…” He doesn’t expect us to be suns but He does expect us to be full moons. Are we together on this? Yes. I like this one too. Review and Herald, July 18, 1893: “We must let the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness shine into our hearts, that we may” what? “…reflect light to others. We may daily be blessed, and be a blessing to others, promoting love, joy and peace wherever we go.”

And my dear friends, when we become that kind of people, when we promote love, joy and peace wherever we go believe me! Gentiles will come to our light. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen.} They will be attracted, and that is what will make us effective soul-winners. Effective witnesses for the King. That is what will make us effective witnesses for the King. Listen. Christ’s Object Lessons, page 340: “Character is power.” Do you want power? In soul-winning, do you want power? Here’s the secret. Character is power. Reading on: “The silent witness of a true, unselfish, godly life carries an almost irresistible influence.” Ooo! I want that. Do you want that? An almost, what? …irresistible influence. It can’t be irresistible, by the way, because then it would be in violation of one’s free will. But, praise God, it can be almost irresistible. Do you want that influence on others? I do. “The silent witness of a true, unselfish, godly life carries an almost irresistible influence. By revealing in our own life the character of Christ, we cooperate with Him in the work of saving souls. It is only by revealing in our life His character that we can cooperate with Him.” Did you hear that my friends? Is revealing the character of Christ optional if we are going to cooperate with Christ in the work of saving souls? Is it optional? No. It’s absolutely essential. In fact, it is the only way we cooperate with Him in the work of saving souls. No wonder the most important work is, what? …character building. Because if you aren’t revealing the character of Christ, you can’t be a soul-winner. Are we all together? You can’t. “It is only by revealing in our life His character, that we can cooperate with Him; and the wider the sphere of our influence, the more good we may do. When those who profess to serve God follow Christ’s example, practicing…” doing what? “…practicing the principles of the law in their daily life; when every act bears witness that they love God supremely and their neighbor as themselves, then, then will the church have power to move the world.”

My dear friends, are we to move the world in these closing hours of earth’s history? That’s what we’ve been raised up to do. To take the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. That’s the whole world. We have an awesome task that has been given us. My dear friends, everything is at stake. This is absolutely essential for the culmination, for the grand finale of the great controversy. The Three Angels Messages must be proclaimed to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. We have been raised up as a people to do that, my dear friends; and that Three Angels Messages, how does it begin? How does it begin? “Fear God and give…” what? “…give glory to Him.” {Rev 14:7} Give what? {glory} “…glory to Him.” Can you possibly, successfully, exhort people to give glory to God if you’re not doing it yourself? …and, what does it mean to give glory to God? What does it mean? It means to reveal His character in your own.

Oh, brother, sister, God help us as a people to understand how to be changed from glory to glory. Do I hear an “amen”? God help us as a people to learn to arise and shine, and be full moons for Jesus Christ. God help us to learn how to cooperate with the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, that we might be changed. We can’t change ourselves. I want everyone to know that. We cannot change ourselves. We must be changed. But we must learn how to cooperate. We must learn how to cooperate; and that is the subject matter of this seminar.

We will be learning, by God’s grace, – through a diligent study of His Word – how we can and must cooperate with the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. I want to exhort you with my whole heart, to determine right now to come regularly. You have the schedule there. Those of you who have your binder, it’s printed out in this little tri-fold brochure. It’s an intensive schedule. I realize that. It’s going to require the investment of some significant time. But my dear friends, by the power of the Holy Spirit, this will be a life-changing experience for all of us; and it will be well worth the time and energy that you invest. In fact, potentially, it will be eternally worth the time and energy you invest. Will you please choose to come? We’re studying the most important work ever entrusted to human beings and we are studying what saith the Lord regarding it. That’s why I exhort you to come. I’m not exhorting you to come and just listen to Steve Wallace. I’m exhorting you to come and study with me what the Lord has to say. Will you make a commitment to do that? {Yes.} I need a little response, a little feedback. Will you make a commitment to do that? {Yes!} Oh, praise the Lord. I invite you to stand with me for closing prayer.

Father in heaven, I thank you so much that we can be changed from glory to glory. From character to character, we can be transformed into the character likeness of Jesus Christ. That won’t happen though, except by the power of the Holy Spirit. We can’t change ourselves, but help us to realize that the Holy Spirit can’t change us either unless we cooperate. …and, Father, we’re beginning a revival series, an intensive and lengthy seminar to study what your Word has to say about our cooperative role. I pray that You would pour out Your Spirit upon us in a very special way. I want this to be much more than just an intellectual exercise for those of us who come meeting after meeting, study after study. Please prepare our hearts. Give us a heart to know You. By the power of the Holy Spirit help us to grasp with the intellect the truth. But more than that, help us to embrace it with the affections and then, most importantly, help us to choose to submit to it with the will. Help us come not only to understand the truth but to stand under it. …and to let the truth mold, and shape, and fashion us from the inside out, into the character likeness of Him, who is the Truth. Oh, please, Father, revival and reformation, it’s our greatest need. Time is so short, there’s so much to do. We’ve got to take a gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. A special message that you’ve raised this church up to proclaim. …and we’re running out of time not only to help the world get ready, but to get ourselves ready. We have no time to waste. Please convict us and help us to be motivated to put forth diligent effort to learn how to cooperate with Your Spirit; that we might be a full moon for Jesus Christ, the Sun of Righteousness. I thank You that You’ve heard this prayer and that You’ve granted my request, for I ask it all in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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