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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.”

Good to see you back, dear friends, thank you so much for coming. I appreciate your presence. It’s a privilege, an honor to study with you diligently, the most important work ever entrusted to human beings. …and what is that? Character building. Education, page 225; and by the way, it’s a course requirement to have this memorized by the time we’re through. So, you start working on it. Education, 225: “Character building is the most important work ever entrusted to human beings; and never before was its diligent study so important as now.” Why so important now? Because the King is coming soon. I believe it, I believe it with my whole heart, and yet, we have much to do. We have a gospel to take to every nation, kindred, tongue and people {Rev 14:6}; and we have our own lives to prepare. {Rev 7:3, 14:7} But again, the successful accomplishment of both of those tasks, depends upon the same thing; and what is that? The development of a Christ-like character. Why? Because we can be neither effective witnesses for the King, nor fit citizens for the Kingdom, unless, we are like the King in character. The purpose of this seminar is to diligently study the principles, the Biblical principles, of Christian character development.

We are seeking to learn how we can cooperate with the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. We cannot change ourselves, we must be changed; even as by the Spirit of the Lord from glory to glory {2 Cor 3:18}, from one stage of character development to another. But though that is a passive verb, my friends, please bear in mind that we are not passive in the process. Oh no, we have an active, cooperative role to play. It’s not to change ourselves but it’s to behold the glory. Amen? In beholding we are changed, changed into the likeness of what we behold; and it’s for that reason that we asked ourselves the question, at our last study: How, and where, is God’s glory revealed to us? We promised you that we would consider seven places, seven ways in which God reveals His glory to us. You remember that, don’t you?

Now encourage me, and let me know that you remember the first… What was it we covered? Three or four? We were supposed to cover five, but we ran out of time. What are the first four? Number one, top on the list is, where? Jesus Christ. Number two, where? In the law. Yes, don’t forget that. Don’t overlook that. Number three, where? The sanctuary and its services. Number four, where? In Scripture, in its entirety both Old and New Testament. Number five, we will consider in a moment and then, we will move to six and seven as well… Lord willing, time affording. But even though time is a factor, we dare not proceed without first, what? Pausing to personally invite God’s Spirit into our hearts. My dear friends, I cannot possibly over emphasize the importance of asking for, and receiving the spiritual discernment that is ours through the powerful, in-dwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. He’s standing at the door and He’s knocking. He wants to come in, but He cannot unless we personally invite Him. So, let’s take that time on our knees, to personally invite God’s Spirit into our hearts; and remember me in your prayers, please, I covet your prayers.

My Father in heaven, I thank You for the quietness of this Sabbath afternoon. I thank You for this sanctuary in space, and in time, where we can set aside all the busy distractions of this world, and focus our hearts and minds on You, through the study of Your Word. Father, we need to have however, our eyes anointed with that eye salve. Spiritual things are only spiritually discerned and we want to behold the glory, but naturally we have not the capacity to even see it. So, supernaturally reveal it to us; and what the Spirit reveals to us, may the same Spirit restore in us. Father, I… I am so grateful for the privilege of leading out in the study of Your Word. It’s amazing to me that You condescend to use such an earthen vessel, as I know myself to be. But Lord, in spite of my inadequacies and my imperfections, I pray that You would use me. Let me be a channel of the blessing of truth. I ask that anything that would obstruct the flow of truth be removed, anything that would taint or contaminate it be cleansed. I want to be a clean and empty vessel that You can fill and use, in a special way to bless. Please Lord, by a miracle of grace do that; and whatever You’re able to communicate through me, may it find receptive hearts and minds. Give each one of us a heart to know You. A heart that can receive and retain the impress of the Spirit of Truth, that we might thereby, be transformed into the likeness of Him, who is the Truth. May we be more like Jesus for having spent this afternoon in the study of His Word. This is our prayer in His name and for His sake. Amen.

We are… where in our books? Page 9. Thank you. Page 9. And what we need to do is just quickly touch on the fifth place or way in which God reveals to us His glory; and that is, my friends, in history and providence. In Scripture, was the last one that we noted, and that is the historical record of God’s interfacing with humanity through the sin crisis. In everything that He says and does in relationship to the sin crisis, His character or His glory is revealed; and as we read Biblical history, by the way – “history” is “His story” – you know that. As we read history, we see the glory, the character of God revealed in Biblical history. But what I want to note with you is that God is still interfacing with the sinful human race. In His involvement with fallen, rebellious humanity we still see – even after the close of Biblical history – His character revealed. I would encourage you to look for – and you must have spiritual discernment to be able to see it – evidences of God’s character as revealed in the way He has interfaced with the human race, even after the close of Biblical history.

I would ask you as well, to be aware that His glory is being revealed on a daily basis as He relates to you. Providence. In your own personal experience, you have opportunity to see that the Lord, the Lord God is merciful, and gracious, and long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth. {Ex 34:6} Amen? {Amen} He forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin {Ex 34:7}; you see that on a daily basis. And I would simply challenge you to be aware of that, to contemplate that, to behold His glory, and in beholding, you will be changed. I would recommend, in this context my friends, keeping record of God’s providential interventions in your life. Journal those, write them down. Isn’t that, what the Lord had the children of Israel do? {Deut 8:2-18} Often times when He would do something special for them, he would have them erect a monument. Right? What was its purpose? It was to remind them every time that they would see that, of how gracious, and good, and merciful, He’d been to them. And even in following generations, as the grandchildren would come by – who hadn’t been involved firsthand in the experience – they could be told the story, and in beholding, they could be changed. That’s brought out here significantly in those quotes. Steps to Christ, page 87: “God speaks to us through His providential workings and through the influence of His Spirit upon the heart. In our circumstances and surroundings, in the changes daily taking place around us, we may find precious lessons if our hearts are but open to discern them.” See, you’ve got to be sensitive, aware of these things. “The psalmist, tracing the work of God’s providence says: ‘The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.’ {Psalm 33:5} ‘Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord.'” {Psalm 107:43} Oh, my brother, my sister, be observant, be wise, and note God’s providences in your own personal life. Take note of them. There’s nothing that can be more encouraging to you when times are tough, to get out that journal, and read through, and remind yourself of God’s goodness. That’s what the Lord had the children of Israel raise the Ebenezer for. 1 Samuel 7:12: “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying: ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us.'” That’s what your journal is to be: it’s your Ebenezer; and as you behold your own record of God’s providential interventions in your behalf, in beholding, you are changed. Amen?

There’s another way in which God reveals to us His glory that I must note with you, and that is, in nature. The heading of our study is “Created For My Glory.” Oh, please, my friends, recognize that God has revealed His character to us, in the things that He has made. Thus, the Psalmist says in Psalm 19:1: “The heavens declare the,” what? “…the glory of God.” The heavens declare the glory of God. Don’t fail to use that exegetical key we gave you last night. Whenever you come across the word “glory,” think what? “Character.” So, what is the Psalmist actually telling us in that verse? The things that God has made speak to us, regarding the character of the Maker. You see… that’s a readily recognized phenomenon, that our artistic creations, invariably reveal something about our character. Invariably.

Let me illustrate… van Gogh paintings. Now, I am not a fan of van Gogh paintings, but I use it as an illustration. Van Gogh’s… you know Vincent van Gogh, the famous artist. Are you familiar with his paintings? His early paintings are impressionistic and they are, you know, they’re the most attractive of all of his paintings, his early stuff. But it’s very interesting, if you line-up his paintings chronologically in the order that he painted them, they get increasingly weird, and bizarre, and surrealistic, until finally, they are downright gross, in this man’s opinion. Vincent van Gogh terminated his life by suicide. Before he did, he cut-off his ear and sent it to a friend. I mean, the man was really having serious mental problems. He was going insane. But the remarkable thing is, that you can trace that increasing insanity in his paintings. You can see it! You can see his mind twisting and warping, and you can see why he would finally take his own life. His paintings are so morose, so depressing, I’m not at all surprised that he committed suicide. Now, it’s interesting… There are different speculations regarding why he committed suicide but one of the most plausible is that he had the habit – as artists did in those days – of holding his paintbrush in his mouth to keep the paint moist. When he was changing from one color to another rather than laying it down and letting it get dry, he would hold it in his mouth; and of course, the paint in those days contained high amounts of… {lead} lead. It’s highly likely that Vincent van Gogh made himself insane with lead poisoning. Regardless of what caused the insanity and the final suicide, the point is, that his creative productions graphically portray the deterioration of his mind; his character is on display in his canvas.

And my dear friends, this is ultimately true regarding the character of the Master Artist and Creator. Amen? {Amen} His character is on display in His creative handiwork. This is why we behold God’s glory in the things that He has made. Romans… Romans 1:20: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” Fascinating the context in which Paul pens those words. Even those who have not had divine revelation regarding the character of God; they are still without excuse, because God has revealed Himself to them in the things that He has made. Nature speaks to us regarding the character of the Maker. Now, I grant my friends, that the revelation is marred, and scarred, and blemished, on account of sin. {Ed 16.3} It was perfect in the Garden of Eden before the fall of man. But Satan, who by the way, usurped the princedom of planet Earth… Who is the prince of this world… in God’s original plan? Adam, the son of God, as Scripture calls him. But Adam sold his princedom to Satan, and Satan became the self-styled prince of this world {Jn 12:31}; and one of the first things he sought to do, was blemish, mar, distort the revelation of God’s character on the pages of nature. And he went to work in the laboratories of hell to invent all sorts of hideous graffiti, to mar the revelation of God’s glory in nature. Why is so important? Because my dear friends, if Satan is going to keep us estranged, from and in rebellion against God, he must keep us deceived, regarding the character of God. That’s how he brought about rebellion in the human heart in the first place; by lying to us regarding the character of God, and the only way he can keep us in rebellion, is to keep us deceived regarding the character of God. Because if we see the truth regarding the character of God, we will see that God is love {1 Jn 4:8}, and we will be drawn back to Him. {Jn 12:32} Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} So, it’s no unimportant thing on Satan’s agenda, to make sure that every place and every way in which God has revealed His glory, he does his very best to mar and distort; and that’s what he’s been doing on the pages of nature for 6000 years.

This is why roses have nasty thorns. That’s Satan’s doing, I assure you, tinkering with the… “like man can do.” We have these genetically modified things. If man can do it, don’t you think Satan can? Why, of course, and he’s been working hard to distort the revelation of God’s character from the pages of nature. Though he’s come a long ways, though… though the revelation of God’s glory is nothing like it was when God’s first created planet Earth, I assure you, His glory still can be seen on the pages of nature. Though roses have nasty thorns, roses are still beautiful. Amen? {Amen} …and they still have a wonderful fragrance. In fact, it’s used in Scripture, the rose of Sharon is a type of Christ Himself. {RH, August 14, 1894 par. 9} I want to encourage you my dear friends, behold the glory in the pages of nature, and in beholding, you will be changed. Selected Messages Volume 1, page 291: “The things of nature upon which we look today give us but a faint conception of Eden’s beauty and glory; yet the natural world, with unmistakable voice, proclaims the glory of God. In the things of nature, marred as they are by the blight of sin, much that is beautiful remains. One omnipotent in power, great in goodness, in mercy and, love has created the earth, and even in its blighted state it inculcates truths in regard to the skillful Master Artist. In this book of nature opened to us – in the beautiful, scented flowers, with their varied and delicate coloring – God gives to us an unmistakable expression of His love.” Amen? What’s God’s character in one word? God is love, and nature still proclaims, declares, the glory, the love of God. Adventist Home, page 146: “The things of nature are the Lord’s silent ministers, given to us to teach us spiritual lessons. They speak to us of the love of God and declare the wisdom of the great Master Artist.”

Oh, friends, do you see in this context, perhaps better, why it is that the servant of the Lord – God’s messenger to this end-time church – so frequently in His behalf, exhorts us to live if possible, where? …in the country. {CL 9.5} Doesn’t it make a whole lot more sense? You see, God wants us to be advantaged in every way possible. He wants us to be exposed to that, which reveals His character that in beholding we might be, what? …changed. If we live in the city, what are we constantly exposed to? Come on now… All that is of the world. That which fosters and promotes the lust of flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. {1 Jn 2:16} All that is artificial, all that is carnal, constantly bombarding us, and in beholding we are what? …changed. Changed into the likeness of what we behold. By the way, the counsel to live in the country, is the strongest for those who have children, who are most impressionable and influenced by their environment. {CL 6.2} Oh, there is great wisdom my dear friends, in living in the country.

This is precisely why my precious wife and I, back several years ago, 1988… Who’s a mathematician? How many years ago is that? 17, 18, something like that? We left suburbia and moved to Montana. Best thing we ever did for ourselves and our children. Not just ordinary Montana. We moved to Glacier Park, Montana. I live within walking distance of Glacier National Park. We live on 20 acres tucked into national forest land; and if you were to come to my home, and sit in my living room and look out my windows, you would not see any man-made structures. You’d only look out on God’s handiwork. You’d see my horse barn and my cabin, but nobody else’s made-man structures. What would you look upon? You would look upon those magnificent evergreens pointing their lofty finger to their Creator, and giving glory to Him; and then, behind that, you’d look at those snow-capped Rocky Mountains, pointing their finger to their Creator… And over it all, that grand, big, blue Montana sky. Right now it is so awesomely beautiful because it’s all sugar-frosted with snow; and every time I look upon that, I praise God that He is able to wash us, and make us whiter than snow. {Ps 51:7} And then, when the spring comes, all of my wife’s flower gardens go into bloom and it is extraordinarily beautiful; and if you sit in my living-room long enough, you will see all the big game of North America go through the yard. We have elk, we have moose, we have deer, we have mountain lion, we have grizzly bear, we have black bear. In fact, they sometimes come up on the porch and look in the window. I could tell you story after story, but I can’t indulge in that and take the time. But my dear friends, it’s not only tremendously entertaining and educating, it is spiritually edifying. I want you to know that there is a great blessing to be gained in living in the country. And I also want you to know, that there’s coming a time – in the not too distant future – when it’s going to be a tremendous advantage to be living in the country, and to be able to grow a little food of your own… Lots of counsel on that. {LDE 99.4} Please know, that these things are told to us by a God who loves us, and has our best interest in mind. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} He wants us to have every possible advantage. Behold the glory!

Some of you might say, “Well, I can’t live in the wilderness like you do. I’ve got a job.” Well, what profited it a man if he gain the whole world but lose his own soul? {Mat 16:26} Yes, we have to be guided by the Lord in these matters, but my friends, our priority should be to become Christ-like in character. Amen? {Amen} Let’s give ourselves and our children every possible advantage to do that, by exposing ourselves to God’s handiwork.

Number 7. Of all the things that God made, where was it that He intended His glory, His character, to be ultimately revealed, though? Where? In mankind… in us, my friends, in the human race; and this is an exciting concept that I want to develop with you. Please consider it with me. Isaiah 43:7… down a couple of references there, you see it, it’s a wonderful, wonderful verse in it. It contains a precious truth that I have a tremendous burden for everyone to understand, but I have a special burden that young people understand this. Do you realize that one of the leading causes of death amongst teenagers in this nation, is suicide? It’s right up there at the top. Suicide. Why are so many teenagers in this affluent, wealthy, rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing country… why are so many of them taking their lives? I have to conclude, it’s because they don’t understand the value of life. You see, you wouldn’t terminate something that you perceived of as being really valuable, and precious, and worthwhile. You only terminate that, which you perceive of as worthless, and valueless. Are you with me? That takes me to the next question. Why is it that so many young people fail to recognize the true value and worth of human existence? Why? Because so many fail to understand the purpose of human existence. Follow me now.

What gives value to human existence? It’s the purpose of human existence. If life is basically purposeless, then life is basically valueless. Are you following the reasoning here? Don’t lose me though. What is it that determines the purpose of human existence, which in turn determines the value of human existence? It is your understanding of the origin of human existence. Are we all together? Inevitably your understanding of the origin of human existence will directly influence and determine your understanding of the purpose of human existence; which will in turn, directly influence your understanding of the value and worth of human existence. Do you see that? Now, what are young people in this nation of ours being taught, as far as the origin of human existence is concerned? What are they being taught? They’re being taught that they are simply the product of time and chance, an accident billions of years ago, when there was a stir in the primordial mud and… somehow life came into existence.

Now, this used to be called “the theory of evolution.” It’s not presented as a theory anymore, it’s presented as a fact. And though the science teacher cannot possibly go into the laboratory and show them how it happened, they are supposed to believe it. And this little amoeboid that came accidentally into life with the passage of time, and by the way, have you noticed how they keep having to pad the story with more time? This little amoeboid got a little more sophisticated and sprouted little nubbins that became fins. Then, after billions of years, a certain school of them, decided that they were tired of swimming in the water and wanted to walk on the land, and so they crawled out of the water. Now, how that was done, nobody can tell you. How gills became lungs, how fins became legs, nobody can tell you, but you’re supposed to believe it. By the way my dear friends, it takes a whole lot more faith to believe in the theory of evolution than it does to believe in the story of creation. {Amen} I insist on it. Whenever a scientist tells you, you’ve got to kiss your brains goodbye to believe in the Biblical account of creation, just tell him, “well, it’s much more challenging for me and my brains to accept the theory of evolution, than it is for the story of creation.” And by the way, there are a whole lot of evolutionists, who are baling out because they cannot intelligently argue any longer for the theory. The evidence is overwhelming against it, and if you are not aware of that, then I challenge you, look into it. This whole concept of an original designer, they won’t name Him as God… but it’s becoming more and more accepted; even amongst unbelieving scientists, because you cannot explain the origin of complex life any other way. Can’t do it.

Now, this branch that decided to stop swimming and start walking on land – after many more billions of years – certain branches of them, got a little more sophisticated; and some of them, evidently decided that walking on four legs was not really fun anymore, so they started walking on two… Stood upright. With the passage of time, they lost more and more hair, and got more and more brains, until finally, here we are folks! It took a long time, but we made it. As someone has summed it all up, “From the goo through the zoo, to you.” You know… we laugh. We laugh but we should cry. Why? Follow. …If that is your understanding of the origin of human existence, what does that do to your understanding of the purpose of human existence? Come on now, reason with me. What does it do? If we only got here as a result of time and chance, and if we got here through the principle of the survival of the fittest; then how are we going to stay here? On the same principle, and we have to look out for, who? …number one, and if I’m just here on the basis of time and chance, then, what is the purpose of my life? …it’s going to terminate soon enough. Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we… die. {1 Cor 15:32} Are you with me? Do you see? Now, bless their teenage minds, they probably haven’t logically thought that through, but subconsciously that’s what they’ve been led to, by what they’ve been taught regarding their origin. Life is purposeless, except for the pleasure you can get out of it, and you better deal with anybody who threatens your pleasure; and when things really get miserable, why not terminate it? …and they do by the thousands every year. They do by the thousands every year.

What do they desperately need to understand, my dear friends? What do they desperately need to come to know? The truth of Isaiah 43:7. Listen. Here we have the precious truth, not only regarding the origin of human existence, but the purpose of human existence. Listen to it! Listen to it: “Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory.” Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} Are we the product of time and chance brother, sister? Are we? No! A thousand times no! We are the handiwork of a personal Creator God, who made us for a very specific and precious high, holy destiny, purpose. What is it? For His glory. Wow! Think about that. What is God’s glory? It’s His character. You see… follow this. Understand this please. God exists in infinite glory, thereby, transcending the capacity of the most intelligent being in the universe to fully understand.  By definition, His glory is measureless, and yet, He is constantly trying to reveal understandable things about Himself to the intelligent beings of the universe. Why? To know Him is to love Him; and the better we know Him, the more we love Him. This is why He is always trying to reveal, more and more fully, in comprehensible ways to the intelligent beings of the universe, His glory. Enter the human race, intended by God, follow this: intended by God to be “Exhibit A” for the whole on-looking universe to observe; that they might draw deeper, and broader, and higher, and more accurate, and mature insights into what the character of the Creator is like. Why? Because He made this race in His image, according to His likeness. {Gen 1:26} Oh, friends, do you see the purpose that gives human existence? Do you see the value that gives human existence? Remember, purpose determines value. We are not the product of time and chance. We are the handiwork of a personal Creator God, who made us to reveal to the on-looking universe, more fully, what He Himself is like. What a destiny! What a destiny… No wonder Satan was so incredibly anxious to mess up the human race and distort the revelation, to foster his lies regarding the character of God.

Listen: Review and Herald, February 11, 1902: “All heaven took a deep and joyful interest in the creation of the world and of man. Human beings were a new and distinct order.” What were we my friends? We were a new and distinct order. In what way? They were made, how? …in the image of God. You see the word goes out through the whole universe. “Hey, listen! Watch! God is about to make a new and distinct order of being, in His own image. You want to better understand what God is like? Watch what He’s about to make on planet earth. Watch!”

Bible Commentary, Volume 6, page 1105: “The glory of God was to be revealed in the creation of man in God’s image…” My dear friends, this is why, this is precisely why, God made us in His image, according to His likeness in every dimension of our being. Turn with me please, to Genesis… Oh, that we had more time to develop this… but I must touch on it at least, and challenge you to think on it more fully. Genesis 1:26. Listen to this remarkable conversation that we’ve been given a recording of, this is the conversation between the Godhead as they discuss their plans to create us. What are they saying? Verse 26: “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in,'” what? “Our image.” What kind of pronoun is that my friends? It’s a plural pronoun. Who’s speaking here? The Godhead. The three persons of the Godhead. You see that word, “then God said,” that’s “Elohim” in the Hebrew and “Elohim” is plural for God. If you don’t believe that, check it out; “Elohim” is plural for God. We believe that God is one, but one as in perfectly united, not one as in singular. Are you with me? The oneness of God is in His perfect unity, not in being one person, but one in spirit, one in purpose. That’s the oneness of God. How does God, who is a plurality, create man? “Let Us make man in Our image.” How does He create them? Verse 27: “So God created man in His own image in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” What kind of a pronoun is “them?” – A plural pronoun. Well, do you see a parallel here? Do you? …and by the way, these two, male and female, He gave the capacity to become, what? …one. One as in singular? Does marriage make us one amalgamated person? No, one as in, what? Perfectly united, and in that union, what do they have the capacity to do? To procreate in their own image and bring a third into that unity. What do you see there? A beautiful type of the Godhead. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} You see, even in the social dimension of our being, God has created us in His image, by creating us a plurality with a social nature and with a desire for oneness; and the family, the marriage, is to reveal the glory of God. Amen? {Amen} It’s to tell the world of the beautiful, love-uniting unity… the love union that can be ours in Jesus Christ.

Not only socially did God make us in His image according to His likeness, but spiritually, mentally, and physically as well. Spiritually, He gave us faculties like unto His own: the capacity to understand and appreciate the things of God; The capacity to commune with God, to hear His voice, to respond to Him through our conscience. These are spiritual faculties. Mentally, we are in God’s image. We have faculties like unto God, the capacity to reason, the capacity to remember, the capacity to choose freely. We have a free will, which by the way, is essential in order for us to be able to develop a character. We must be able to choose, for the love of God, to do the right, in order to become Christ-like in character.

Physically though, please understand that even physically, God created us in His image according to His likeness. This is important, give me a moment on this. We… please know, in our physical being, were created to reveal the form of God, who is Spirit. God does not, at least did not, at the time of creation, have flesh and bone like we do. He does now, doesn’t He? In the person of Jesus Christ. When the Word became flesh {Jn 1:14}, He assumed our physical flesh and bone, and He still has it; and how long will He have it? Forever. Wow! More on that later… Praise His name. What a sacrifice!

But back then, before the incarnation, God still had form, even though He was Spirit; and my dear friends, we were created to reveal that form. You see… this is why the Bible speaks of God’s hand, God’s mouth, God’s eye, God’s ear, …speaks of God’s walking, God’s sitting. These are more than anthropomorphisms. That’s a big word. What’s an anthropomorphism? That is an attempt on the part of man to conceptualize God, by attributing to Him human characteristics. There are many who tell us that when the Bible speaks of the mouth of God, it doesn’t mean that God has a mouth. It’s man just trying to conceptualize God, so he says, He has a mouth. No my friends, God has a mouth. Though He’s Spirit, He has a form; and that form has a mouth, and He speaks from that mouth. How do I know that? Because we have a mouth and we were created in His image. {Gen 1:26} But what really settles it for this boy is that Jesus had a mouth; and Jesus said, “If you’ve seen Me you’ve seen the Father.” {Jn 14:9} Amen? {Amen} Not only in character, but in form, in person Jesus was a revelation of His Father’s glory. His glorious image, His glorious likeness, was revealed in the person of Jesus, even in His physical body.

And my dear friends, you and I… please follow! You and I are called by God to glorify God in our what? Our body as well as in our spirit, which are God’s. {1 Cor 6:20} Do you better understand in this context, why Scripture says, “Whether you eat or drink, do all to the glory of God”? {1 Cor 10:31} What are eating and drinking? Those are lifestyle habits. Do they affect our physical condition? Do they? Come on now, do they? Oh, yes, they surely do; and my dear friends, those who really love God, and want to say true and beautiful things about what He’s like in every dimension of their being, will be for the love of Christ, very eager to eat and drink to His glory. Amen? {Amen} So, that in all of our habits, even our lifestyle habits, we will be able to say as true and beautiful things as we possibly can, given our sin-damaged condition; regarding how good God looks even in our physical bodies. Amen? Yes! This is why we have the health message. I wanted to hear more than one “amen.” Come on! This is why we have the health message. {Amen!} And this is why we ought to love, and appreciate, and apply the health message. {Amen} Because the health message is all about learning to eat and drink to the glory of God.

What are we all busy doing? Eating and drinking to gratify self, and it shows… Come on now. I’m talking straight to you. We’ve wreaked havoc on our physical bodies, and I’m not just talking about being overweight; I’m not picking on anyone here. My dear friends, we are just a whole lot more decrepit and damaged than we ought to be. You know Seventh-day Adventists were written up in the National Geographic here a while back? You know that? National Geographic, feature article… about Seventh-day Adventists. {} Why? Why were we featured? Because we live about seven years longer than the average American, and we are so proud of ourselves… We’re patting ourselves on the back. We ought to be ashamed of that. We ought to be living a whole lot longer than the average person. My dear friends, if we were, we wouldn’t only have a lower frequency of dying by disease, we wouldn’t be dying by disease. We would be dying of one rare cause, and that is old age; and if you don’t believe that, I’m sorry but that’s Biblically based. None of these diseases {Ex 15:26} – is the promise. And if we were living in harmony with the laws of our physical being, if we were truly embracing the health message, you and I, would be stand-out physical specimens of how good it is to be under the Lordship of the God who loves us. We ought to be physically billboards that say to the whole world: “It is good to belong to Jesus.” {Amen} “It is good to be under His Lordship.” Our physical bodies ought to give undeniable evidence of that. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} God help us love, and appreciate, and apply the health message. {Amen} In every dimension of our being, we were created to reveal the glory of God. May God help us realize our destiny, my friends. May God help us realize our destiny.

Education page 20, top of page 11: “Created to be ‘the image and glory of God’ Adam and Eve had received endowments not unworthy of their high destiny. Graceful and symmetrical in form, regular and beautiful in feature,” What are we talking about? – their physical nature. “…their countenances glowing with the tint of health and the light of joy and hope, they bore in outward resemblance the likeness of their Maker.” Where? – outwardly. Reading on: “Nor was this likeness manifest in the physical nature only. Every faculty of mind and soul reflected the Creator’s glory.” Every faculty of mind and soul reflected the Creator’s glory. That’s the way God made us. There’s something else I must point out. In order to fulfill this marvelous God-ordained destiny, to reveal His glory; God not only gave us a full compliment of God-like faculties, but He further equipped and advantaged us by writing His law. By writing His what, class? …His law upon His every nerve, every fiber, every faculty of our being. You see, the law is the transcript of God’s character {COL 305.3}, and when God makes things with those fingers, those fingers inevitably write His law; which is love, on whatever He makes. Note how inspiration puts it… note how inspiration puts it. Spalding and Magan Collection, page 40: “God’s law is written by His own finger upon every nerve, every muscle, every faculty which has been entrusted to man. These gifts were bestowed upon him, not to be abused, corrupted and abased but to be used to His honor and,” what? “…glory…” Glory. You see, all of those God-like faculties were pre-programmed by God through the writing of His law upon them, to operate, to function in a God-like way. I ask you, what more could God have done to enable us to fulfill our destiny? He gave us everything. We need it.

Now, be careful though, when I say His law was written upon every nerve, every fiber, every faculty, so that they were pre-programmed to function in a God-like way… Am I suggesting that we were pre-programmed like a robot? …and wouldn’t be able to do anything but… what God programmed us to do? No, we had a free will. We could choose to violate that law that was written, not upon… not only upon every nerve, every fiber, every faculty but also on the fleshly tables of our hearts. We could choose to rebel against that, and tragically that’s what we did; but that’s the bad news later. I am saying, though, that we were pre-programmed in the sense that naturally, we had no inclination to disobey. We were entirely inclined to live in harmony with the Creator God, who made us. For we were governed by the same law, which in one word is… what? Love, that governed the heart of God Himself; and as long, my dear friends, as long as we chose, follow this… as long as we chose to exercise and develop those God-like faculties in harmony with the law that was written upon them, what was our potential to reveal God’s glory? …to fulfill our destiny? What was our potential? This is exciting. Follow me. What was our potential? Listen to this remarkable statement. Education, page 15, third one down on page 11. Are you with me? “When Adam came from the Creator’s hand, he bore in his physical, mental, and spiritual nature, a likeness to his Creator – a likeness to his Maker. ‘God created man in His own image,’ Genesis 1:27, and it was His purpose…” listen closely: “It was His purpose that the longer man lived the more fully he should reveal this image – the more fully reflect the glory of the Creator.” Pause.

How long did God intend for us to live? {Forever} Forever. And what was God’s intention? What was God’s purpose? That the longer man lived, the more fully we should reveal His glory. In other words, God gave us faculties that had absolutely unlimited potential for development. Do you hear what I’m telling you? …and I’m telling you this on the authority of inspiration, I’m not making this up. God gave us faculties that had unlimited potential to soar through the ceaseless ages of eternity from glory to glory, to glory, ever and always into the infinitely glorious likeness of our Creator. {Praise the Lord}

By the way, how long can you approach infinity before you arrive? Come on now… stretch those brains. How long can you approach infinity before you arrive? – forever. How glorious is our Creator? – He’s infinitely glorious. Therefore, God created us with the capacity to soar, ever more fully, and freely into the infinitely glorious likeness of the Creator but always have an infinity of future growth ahead of us. {Amen} What a destiny! It doesn’t get better than that! {Amen} Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} It doesn’t get better than that! What a high and holy purpose for the human race. Back to our statement. His purpose: “God created man in His own image and it was His purpose that the longer man lived the more fully he should reveal this image – the more fully reflect the glory of the Creator. All his faculties were capable of development; their capacity and vigor were,” what? “…continually to increase…” No limits, no limits. But what was the condition upon realizing this marvelous destiny? Next line: “Had he remained loyal to God, more and more fully would he have fulfilled the object of his creation, more and more fully have reflected the Creator’s glory.” What was the condition, my dear friends? – obedience to that law that was written upon the fleshly tables of his heart. But really that only stands to reason. What is the law? The transcript of God’s character. {COL 305.3}

How can you possibly reveal God’s character if you are going to rebel against, that which is its transcript? Do you hear me? …and right here is what went wrong. Isn’t it? Right here. Tragically man did not choose to remain loyal to the law that was written upon the fleshly table of His heart. And oh, the terrible consequence is what you and I are living with today. In our next study, we need to look at this bad news of what went wrong, and I must warn you that the next study is not going to be pleasant. It’s never fun to consider bad news, so, why don’t we just skip it? You know, I’m tempted every once in a while to do that, but I can’t bring myself to do so. Why? Hear me. It is impossible for us to appreciate the good news until we understand the bad news. You see, the beautiful thing is that the plan of salvation has purchased for us, has redeemed for us once again, our marvelous God-ordained, but now sin forfeited, destiny. The whole purpose of the plan of salvation is to make it possible for us, once again, to soar from glory to glory through the ceaseless ages of eternity, into the infinitely glorious likeness of our Creator; now Redeemer as well. Amen? {Amen} That’s the whole purpose of the plan of salvation. But my dear friends, you cannot appreciate that marvelous provision of grace, until you recognize what your natural condition is on account of the fall. The good news is only as good as the bad news is bad. You show me someone who doesn’t understand how hopeless, and helpless they are, on account of the fall; and I will show you someone who cannot possibly understand or appreciate the hope, and the help that is theirs, on account of salvation in Jesus Christ. So bless your hearts, resist the temptation to go home. Even though our next study is not going to be fun, it’s necessary. Let’s stand for prayer.

Father in heaven, I thank you so much for Your marvelous purpose for creating us. Oh, how awesome it is to realize that You created us for Your glory. You intended us to be “Exhibit A” for the whole universe to observe, and draw accurate, and beautiful conclusions, regarding what You Yourself are like. That’s why You made in Your image according to Your likeness, a new and distinct order of being. That’s why You equipped us with God-like faculties and wrote upon every nerve, every fiber, every faculty, Your law. Oh, what a marvelous destiny! What limitless potential was ours at creation! But Father, we forfeited it all by choosing to rebel against Your law. But I’m so thankful… I am so thankful… that in spite of that, You still loved us and, at infinite cost to Yourself, You made it possible for us once again to realize our God-ordained, sin-forfeited, but now blood-salvaged destiny. We can still be changed from glory to glory. We can still because of Jesus, soar through the limitless eons of time, into the infinitely glorious likeness of You Yourself. Father please, help us not to fail to accept such a precious and costly provision, that, that might be possible. Lord, continue to be with us as we study. Help us to understand these things but most importantly, help us to experience them in our personal lives, is our prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.


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