The Glory of God

The Glory of God

Scripture: Exodus 33:18-21, Exodus 34:5, John 17:1-26
Date: 10/04/2014 
The word "Glory" is found over 400 times in the Bible. Understanding glory is essential to understanding salvation.

Life is Not Fair, But God is Good by Doug Batchelor

Life is Not Fair, But God is Good by Doug Batchelor
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

Good morning. It’s good to be home and as much as we enjoyed our experience in Michigan it’s always good to be home. Even before our meetings began back there at Andrews University, and by the way not only did we have a thrilling experience with the meetings that were televised on 3ABN and HOPE Channel we had a week of prayer during the week with the students and they’ve got some great young people on that campus. I understand that this year is the record enrollment in the history of the school. They have a little more than three thousand students enrolled at Andrews University from all over the world, virtually every corner of the earth and it was an honor for me to be able to do a week of prayer for them five mornings.

The place was full and they seemed very attentive and one thing that excited me is each morning before I’d preach all the young people or a group that they had assigned would gather around me and place their hands on me and they were praying for me so God would fill me with His Spirit as I spoke to them. And that made a good impression on me. I appreciated that. But even before I came back I already knew what I wanted to say to you this morning, before the meetings even began the Lord laid something on my heart that is I think a message that needs to go to the world. You heard in our scripture reading this morning the talk about the quote from Revelation 14 part of the three angels’ message. This angel has a message and it is to fear God and give glory to Him.

Now you’re going to be hearing that term a little bit during our message. The message is “The Glory of God.” The Glory of God. Maybe I’ll start with a little amazing fact that might set the stage for the magnificence of this topic. I don’t know if the preacher will treat it with what it deserves. I’m sure I won’t, but it is a magnificent topic. The sun, center of our solar system is a constant nuclear explosion taking place all the time. The pressure at the center of the sun is about seven hundred million tons per square inch. Can you imagine seven hundred million tons of pressure condensing on one square inch? It’s enough to smash atoms. In fact, listen to this. The material at the core of the sun is so hot and so bright if you could capture enough of it to cover the head of a pin, straight pin, it would kill a man one mile away. Just enough material from the center of the sun to cover the head of a pin the intensity is so powerful it would kill a man a mile away. That’s pretty hot. That’s pretty powerful. That’s pretty bright. We know how bright the sun is from our distance. Now I’m wanting you to think about the power, the magnificence, the brightness, the intensity of God. I’m going to do everything I can with my feeble language to try to inspire you with the glory of God in the message today beginning with a definition.

Glory, three hundred and eighty times in the Bible you find the word glory and I don’t even know if that’s any other division of the word like glorified or glorifying. It means, according to the American Heritage Dictionary, “Great honor, praise or distinction accorded by common consent, something conferring honor or renown, a highly praiseworthy asset.” Someone might say your hair is your crowning glory. They don’t say that to me. “Adoration…” That was in the dictionary. “Adoration, praise and thanksgiving offered in worship such as to glorify; majestic beauty and splendor, resplendence such as a sunset in a blaze of glory; the splendor and bliss of heaven, perfect happiness, a halo or cloudy radiance a nimbus or an aura around something, the glory of something.” So this is the way the word is used sometimes and most of these would also apply to God. Now I think it’s an important study because when Moses thought about the most important thing he could ask from the Lord, you know what he asked? He said, “Lord, show me your glory.” Turn with me in the book of Exodus, Exodus 33:18 and you’ll find this story. Exodus 33:18 Moses is preparing to go back up Mt. Sinai and receive another copy of the Ten Commandments. He’s in dialogue with the Lord and during this dialogue God is saying, Look, I talk to you as My friend.

I know you by name. Moses says, I know You by name. God revealed His name to Moses. They have this relationship, but Moses wants more of God. Verse 18 he makes an incredible request. Moses is talking to God not like you and I pray. He’s up on the mountain and he’s talking to God in the presence of God, and he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” Show me your glory. Is that on your prayer request list when you’ve got your list of things that you pray for? Most of the time I think our lists are comprised of, if your list is like my list, Lord, save my children, protect my children, save me, protect me, help with the finances, help with the jobs, guide for the future, things like that. Pray for life? Wife? I have a wife! Pray for your wife. Yeah, well, we’re one flesh so whatever is good for me is good for you, dear. So we’ve got these things in our lists and often you know our lists are about I need this and I need that, but what is Moses saying? Show me Your glory. What did he mean by that? So listen to what God says to that request. He said, “I will make all of My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you.”

Don’t miss the connection between the goodness of God, the name of God, and the glory of God. They’re all interwoven like a rope. Now part of our job as Christians is to live for the glory of God. It’s talking about the goodness of God and the name of God. And then God says, “I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” But, He said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” Now some of you are thinking, didn’t some people see God’s face? We’ll get to that in a minute. “And the Lord said, ‘Here is a place by Me. You shall stand on the rock.’” And evidently this was some niche in the rock; it was a cleft in the rock. “…and so it shall be while My glory passes by that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and I will cover you with My hand while I pass by.” How many of you have sung that song before “He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock” and this is of course based on this verse. “…and I’ll cover you with My hand when I pass by.” God must be big; He can cover a man with his hand. “Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.” Wow! So then it tells us that he was up on the mountain. He cut two tables of stone, he went back up on the mountain, God is going to write this.

Go to verse five chapter thirty-four, verse five. “Then the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there,” now keep in mind this is on Mt. Sinai. The blazing glory on top of the mountain it was all asmoke with fire. We’ll show you this later too. Moses is up on the mountain with the Lord and the Lord passed by 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.” Now up to this point it’s describing these beautiful, merciful, good, loving, patient attributes of God; it’s describing His character. That is His glory. But it goes on to say, “by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation.” He’s showing His love, His goodness, His patience, but those who do not capitalize on His forgiveness He’s not only a loving Father, He’s a just King. He must punish sin. He’s describing His character. He’s describing who He is as a God, a loving Father, a merciful judge and yet a King that is not to be trifled with and the glory, the brilliance, the magnificence of this being you cannot look on His face or you’ll die even someone holy like Moses He passes by what does Moses do?

He can’t bear the sight and when he sees this it tells us that “Moses made haste” he dropped to his knees “and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped.” So often in the Bible when God reveals His glory to His saints they fall down before Him. Now I’m going to kind of give you a panorama of some of the aspects in the Bible on the glory. I don’t have time to go through all three hundred and fifty scriptures. I might need two parts for this message. We’ll see how we proceed. First of all, when you think of the glory of God think about the brightness of His presence. Think about the brilliance of God, the power the majesty of God. Let me give you a few verses here that have to do with seeing God. John 1:18, “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.” Jesus reflected the glory of God the Father on earth. It was veiled in Christ. We’ll talk more about that later. I John 4:12 You might want to write some of these down because I’m going through several. “No one has seen God at any time.” That’s the New Testament. Genesis 32:30 “Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: ‘For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.’” Now wait a second, Pastor Doug, you just read that no man can see God’s face. No man has seen God at any time. Here Jacob says, “I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” See they believed that if they ever saw God’s face they’d die. How do you reconcile that? Well, the Lord veils His glory in different degrees.

Sometimes in pre-New Testament days God might appear as the angel of the Lord, the archangel, the commander of the Lord’s army. He might veil Himself in some way in a form that they could manage. You remember when the Lord appeared to Abraham. Jesus in His pre-incarnate person and two angels appear to Abraham. He is obviously veiling His glory in some way because at first they’re not even sure who He is. He later knows it’s the Lord. God can veil His glory if He wants to. When Jacob wrestled with this angel that was one of those times when the Lord veiled His glory because he says, “I’ve seen God’s face, and yet I’m alive!” when the mother of Samson, the wife of Minoah saw this messenger, He said, “My name is Wonderful.” They asked about His name. He says, “You cannot know My name for it is Wonderful.” And the Lord describes Himself that way. The Lord is Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God. And so there are these pre-New Testament times where Christ appeared.

When this commander of God’s army appears to Joshua and he says, “Take your shoes off your feet. You’re on holy ground.” He realized that this is the Commander of the Lord’s army He veiled Himself in this form and appeared. But God unveiled cannot be beheld by mortal man. Even Moses who was a godly man, the friend of God, God said, “You can’t see My face without being reduced, without some kind of sunglasses on. It’ll destroy you. It’s too bright.” Angels don’t even look on His face. You read there in Isaiah they bow their heads, they cover their faces with their wings from the glory of God. What was on the Ark? Angels with their heads down, with their wings there over the place of His presence. I’m not done. John 6:46, “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.” Does Jesus behold the face of the Father? Now there are angels that see the Father’s face now. I’m just saying that it’s, you and I could look at the sun, but for how long? I mean, can’t we take a fleeting look at the sun? Sure, but you can’t stare at it. Jesus said, “Be kind to the children for their angels do behold the face of My Father in Heaven.”

So angels do see His face, but they can’t even stare into the face of God. It is the brightest person in the cosmos. I Timothy 6:16, “…who alone has immortality,” speaking of God, “dwelling in” (God) “dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see,” no man has seen that light nor can see. Now who wrote I Timothy 16? Scholars here, who wrote that? Paul. Paul wrote that. Does Paul know what he’s talking about? Did Paul ever see any blinding light of the Lord? When Paul saw Jesus, His glory veiled no doubt, what did it do to Paul’s eyes? Blinded him and even after his eyesight was restored it was never completely restored. For the rest of his life he always had someone with him and people writing letters for him because it did something to his eyes the glory of Jesus even veiled. And Paul says he calls it blinding light. You remember when Paul began his ministry there was a false teacher named Bar-Jesus a sorcerer who was leading someone Sergius Paulus. Paul was preaching to this counselor and trying to encourage him to accept Christ and this false teacher was turning him away and Paul said, “Oh you child of the devil, now you’re going to be blind.” He was struck with blindness. Paul knew what it was like to be blind so he chose that as the curse. Paul was struck from his horse by the glory of God.

He knows about it. Revelation 1:16 when John the apostle sees Jesus in heaven “His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength” not at sundown. You know when the sun first comes up you can stare at it, can’t you? Because it’s filtered by the atmosphere. Or when it’s going down you could look at the sun going down. It still might hurt your eyes but especially if it gets down deep on the horizon and it’s going horizontal through the atmosphere it’s veiled. John is in heaven he’s looking at the face of Jesus. He said His face was like the sun as it shines in its strength “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead” by the glory of God. Revelation 22, verse 3 and 4. Here’s some good news. In heaven, last chapter in the Bible, “And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb.” That’s God the Father and the Lamb, do you agree? God and the Lamb. Who is that? If the Lamb is Jesus, who is God? The Father. “…the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads.” Is that in their mortal condition or when we have our glorified bodies? Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for” what? They’ll see God. Someday we’re going to see Him. Wow! Hebrews 12:14, “Pursue peace with all” people, “and holiness, without which no man will see God.”

If you hope to see Him someday and not run from His presence we must have purity of heart and holiness. The glory of God is very bright and if we are not holy it is deadly. Holiness is the only thing that will inoculate you against the second coming. If you are not injected with holiness before Jesus comes in purity you will be destroyed by the second coming. Scripture. His glory is a deadly glory. You know when Moses was, did she already put that picture up? I’m not paying attention to the screen. When Moses was up on the mountain with the Lord and it says the mountain was all asmoke. Yeah, that’s the one I’m looking for. You know the Bible says Exodus 24:17, leave that up there. I want you to see it. The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. That glory of the Lord on that mountain and Moses climbed right up into it.

Everyone else was told if you touch the foot of the mountain you’ll be killed. If a donkey touches the foot of the mountain it will be killed. Just the fact that the glory of God was on the mountain the whole mountain was rendered holy and that Moses could go up into that is amazing, but even though Moses went through the dark cloud on the mountain God said, “You can’t look upon My face. You couldn’t bear it.” 2 Thessalonians 1:9 written by someone who saw the glory of God. The wicked will be punished with an everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the… I tell you what. I want to see if you’re listening here. How many letters in glory? Five letters. One, two, three, four, five. Alright when you see my hand like this get ready. When I go like that I want you to say glory, okay? No, no, no, you did. Boy and this is on TV. I told everyone how sharp my congregation is. This is to get ready. Glory. Alright. Glory. Alright. Keep watching. I might do it again. I want you to stay with me, okay? It says they’ll be “punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.” 2 Thessalonians 2:8 “then that lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.”

The brightness of His coming is going to destroy them. You ever turn on the lights in a city apartment that might not be too clean? If there are cockroaches that come out… when I lived in New York City even in the nicest apartments there are cockroaches everywhere. Matter of fact, my friend and I when my mom was not home, mom smoked and she had a lighter which means she had lighter fluid. I’m embarrassed to tell you this. And my friend and I Andy, my friend and I would wait until the cockroaches came out in the kitchen. We’d flip on the light and then we’d pour lighter fluid on the floor around them before they could scatter and we’d set it on fire. It never burned the linoleum. It just usually burned a circle. It was pretty exciting, I’ll tell you. Once we got too carried away and the evidence was still there, but you turn on the lights and the cockroaches run. That’s what the wicked are going to do from the glory of the Lord. They’re going to run from the brilliance of His glory. Now I am very thankful for electricity. How many of you are thankful for electricity. How many of you like to hang around under power lines?

You can be thankful for electricity and have a healthy respect for high voltage lines, right? That’s something like the glory of God. I am so thankful for the goodness of God and the glory of God but I’ll tell you, you’d better be careful before you ask to see His glory. You want to be pure of heart. You want to be holy. If He says you can’t handle it, take His word for it. If Moses couldn’t handle it, if John couldn’t handle it… There’s different kinds of glory in the Bible. I want to read this to you from First Corinthians chapter fifteen verse forty and forty-one. “There are also celestial bodies” meaning heavenly, “and terrestrial” terrain, earthly “bodies, but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun,” and a different glory. The sun is brighter than the glory of the moon, “and another glory of the stars” and even the stars differ in their brilliance. You’ll see the glory of God if you look up. Psalms 19:1 “The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.” There is a never ending sermon that you see. Now you’re at a disadvantage here in Sacramento. When we go towards the coast Covelo is only about twenty-five miles from the coast and in the mountains there you’ve got that fresh air coming over, you see the stars at night. Phew! Or go to a high desert.

When we camp out in the high desert the sun goes down the air is very clear wow! It is awesome, breathtaking. Karen and I when we went to the southern hemisphere we were out on a boat there on the ocean at night. The air was clear and we saw the stars you can only see from the southern hemisphere we never see around here. And you stare up at night and if there’s no moon to detract from the light of the starlight your eyes adjust and they seem twice as bright. There is a glory in the heavens that is phenomenal and we see so little of it. I’ve got a couple illustrations that I hope they don’t mind someone e-mailed this to me and I just borrowed it from the Internet. Just to give you an idea of how big the universe is meaning how big God is here are some of the planets in our solar system. Right now the jury is out regarding Pluto. Poor Pluto I think has been demoted. It’s not a planet anymore. You see the size of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and you see Earth down there at the bottom. Okay, just for scale. Now we’re going to jump to our sun included in the picture of the planets in the universe. There you’ve got the sun.

Now you see Jupiter down there. I understand that it takes what is it 1.3 million earths to fill the volume of the sun. 1.3 million Earths to equal to the size of the sun. Now that’s our solar system. Pretty impressive. Now how big is our sun compared to some other stars like there’s another big one out there called Arcturus I read a book when I was a security guard called Voyage to Arcturus a science fiction. I never forgot that star’s name. but it’s a big star. You see that? Now look at Arcturus. You see our sun on the left of that, but Arcturus is not really that big. There are bigger stars out there. We’ll go to the next slide here. You’ve got Antares. Now you see how big Antares is and down at the very, you see Arcturus down there? Little bitty, looks like a little large marble and our sun does not even appear in that scale because it would be about the size of one pixel on the video projector screen right now. Alright. Now those stars are bright. Arcturus is not the brightest star anymore. They’ve got one more they just discovered.

It’s called the Pistol Star and the Pistol Star is, they’re not even sure what it is yet because, I don’t know if I had a picture of that or not. I guess I didn’t. Maybe that wasn’t in my program. The Pistol Star, they’re taking pictures of it with the Hubble because they think it’s at the middle of the Milky Way Galaxy but we’re on the outer rim so we’re looking through a Frisbee sideways towards the middle of our galaxy and when they focus the lens and they pick up the radiation they think there’s a star at the middle of the Milky Way that’s even bigger than Antares and just the brilliance and power of those stars, you know what? God is brighter than anything he’s made. You think about that and think about how big and vast the universe is. The glory of God doesn’t always just mean the brightness. It not only means the power. Can you imagine the constant nuclear explosion happening in a star the size of Arcturus when you consider our sun? God is more powerful than any of those dynamos. Think about how vast it is. If you travel one hundred and eighty-six thousand miles per second, the speed of light.

It takes you about 1.3 seconds to get to the moon traveling the speed of light. About eight minutes to get to the sun ninety-three million miles away, four years approximately to get to the first star and there are billions of stars. The first star in our neighborhood besides our sun which is I think Alpha Centauri. They’re not sure whether it’s Alpha Centauri or Alpha Proxamai, Calculus. I guess they disagree. Four years though of going one hundred and eighty-six thousand miles per second. Miles, you can’t even think in terms of miles. There’s no number for it. To get to the first star. Think about how big space is. That’s a lot of glory when you look up at night. That’s a sermon everybody ought to find awesome that God is going to move the capital of all that to our planet and we will see His face. There’s not only glory when you look up. There’s a lot of glory below when you look down. The Bible says, Psalms 145:10-11, “All Your works shall praise You, O Lord…They shall speak of the glory…” I know some of you aren’t looking at your Bibles and so I could do this and I found out who they were. They were watching me. “They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, And talk of Your power,” the works praise Him. In Isaiah chapter six you remember when he had that vision in the temple, it said, the angels say, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts.

The whole earth is full of His glory.” Even in this world defiled by sin everywhere you look you see evidence of the glory of God. Habakkuk 2:14, “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Have any of you ever seen a spectacular view? You ever seen something that you just thought was splendid? Whether you’re looking something close at hand, it might be a flower. For me, last night we put on a video as the Sabbath began that we bought when we were in Australia last time with the kids scuba diving and it was someone took this just spectacular, gorgeous footage. They must have taken thousands of reels to get these pictures of the sea life and just the florescent, iridescent colors of the fish and the coral swaying gently in the currents and it was just so beautiful, glorious. There’s glory below. So we thought that’d be nice. Just the background music. A nice way to introduce the Sabbath, think about the creation. Or have you ever seen a sunset? I remember an experience one time I had an epiphany. I was flying back into Sacramento from somewhere. I fly a lot.

I happened to have a window seat which I usually don’t like because I’m hyperactive. You don’t want to sit next to me on an airplane. I’m just always fidgeting. You don’t want to sit next to Nathan either on an airplane unless he’s sleeping. Our kids always start to come down with colds just before we fly so we give them some medication… I was sitting next to a window this day and the sun was setting. It was in the afternoon and as the pilot was setting up his pattern, he had to turn, and all of a sudden, I had the headphones on I was listening to some classical music on the station. You know they’ve got these programs. and I’m hearing this beautiful music and the plane turned and suddenly I was exposed to this sunset that was such a gorgeous sunset and all of a sudden I just had this revelation of the beauty of God. The combination of the music assaulting my senses and the beautiful colors of the sunset and I just thought to myself, wow!

God is so great! I never forgot that. It just came over me like a wave. God is so beautiful! God is so good. I just had this epiphany of the goodness of God because only someone who is very good would create something so beautiful and this beautiful music and the beautiful sight. And here I was flying above it all. Any of you ever have one of those experiences where you just go, “Oh! God is glorious!” There’s glory below that you can see. Now of course we’re focusing on the glory of God. Man is in competition and man has his own glory that you see in the world here. You’ve got the glory of man. You’ve got to watch out for that. The devil wanted us to focus more on the glory of man than the glory of God. Jeremiah 9:23 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this,’” a lot of glory in this verse, “that he understands and knows Me…” If you’re going to glory in something don’t glory in anything earthly or humanistic or earthly abilities or powers. If you’re going to glory, if you’re going to revel, if you’re going to rejoice, glory in this that you understand and know Me. See what did Moses find when he wanted to see the glory of God? It was the character of God.

If we’re going to glory in something glory in the fact that you know the Lord. “‘…that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the Lord.” Matthew 4:8 “Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.” The devil tried to impress Jesus with the glory of man. He thought it should be our god that we should all just revel in our accomplishments and our glory. Now I talked to you about the brightness of the suns and the brightness of the stars and I really didn’t say much. The brightest light on earth that is manmade is actually just over the hills here, did you know that? It’s down there in Las Vegas. It’s the Luxor Hotel.

In the Luxor Hotel there are thirty-nine xenon light bulbs at the top of that hotel and each of them has a light that is incredibly bright and they’re as big as a washing machine and they shoot straight up into space and it really is sort of pathetic because even though, I forget what it is, I think they pay fifty eight dollars a minute to keep that light burning (the glory of man), but you know the sad thing is it doesn’t light anything. When they designed it they didn’t realize that most people would very rarely see the beam. Matter of fact, one of the photographers that took this picture he had to wait for these conditions of a dust storm to take that picture because most of the time the air is so dry and still that they don’t even see the beam of light.

You actually need the vapor or you need dust or something in the atmosphere. There are a couple times a year where these desert moths hatch out and there’s quite a display right above that. And pilots that have the misfortune of flying right over that beam; they try to avoid it because it will shine in their cockpits, it will blind them temporarily. But that’s the glory of man. We create all this light and it goes nowhere. It just shines up into space a big zero. I Peter 1:24, what does Peter say? Because “All flesh is as grass,” we spring up and then we die, “and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and its flower falls away…” Manmade glory doesn’t last. What about the glory of heaven. What are they doing in heaven right now?

Think about this. I couldn’t put all the verses in there. All you’ve got to do is go through Revelation and pick a few. Listen to what it says. Revelation chapter 1, in heaven they’re glorifying God. Their greatest joy in heaven is glorifying God. I’m telling you this because I want you to be there someday and you need to get used to it now. If you’re ever going to enjoy glorifying God there then, you need to learn to enjoy glorifying God here now. That’s how they spend all their time in heaven. They’re glorifying God. They’re not about glorifying themselves. Revelation 1:6, “to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 4:9, “Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him” like Moses fell before the Lord, “who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying: ‘You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created.’” You remember I mentioned a moment ago the vision of Isaiah.

What are those angels doing that are before the throne of God? When he saw God in His glory they’re going, “Holy, holy, holy. The whole earth is full of His glory.” They are glorifying God constantly. If you put in your resume with the heavenly job opportunities and you were looking for your job in heaven what would you request? What do you want to do in heaven? If you could have your job assignment what would you ask for? Would you want to be one of those beings around the throne, twenty-four elders, one of those angels that are constantly there just glorifying God or would you think, that’s kind of nice once a week for a couple hours, but I want to do something else? That is considered to be the highest privilege and joy because I believe… I don’t have a scripture that says it word for word, but I think I could support it by putting enough scripture together. I believe that right now if we could be transported to heaven, if you could experience that time when we will see His face that you would have a constant wave of joy and awe and splendor that would roll over you in the presence of God where you would never want to do or be anywhere else.

You’ll constantly be thinking and going, “Oh Wow! Awesome! Glory! Brilliant!” You couldn’t get past it. Those of us who know something about Seventh-day Adventist history, one of our founders Ellen White had a number of visions and whenever she went off into vision it was very common for her to be heard saying, “Glory! Glory! Glory!” And then she’d be taken off into vision. Just from the light that came. And you know what would happen as she came out of vision? “Dark, dark, dark!” Coming from the splendor of heaven back down to this earth or even the glory of angels. If you could be in the glory of heaven! What did the apostles want? They said, “Lord, we’re going out on a limb here. We’ve got a special request. When You enter into Your kingdom and You sit in Your glory, could we sit by You?” Their desire was to be by the Lord in His glory because the ultimate joy, the ultimate climax of existence for any of God’s creatures is to be in the presence of God and just allow the waves of glory and splendor from that being to roll over you. That is the highest privilege and yet there are people who think, “Aw man!

Am I going to have to play a harp and hang around there and just praise Him?” You don’t understand the glory of God if that’s your attitude. The highest position that Lucifer had was by God and He lost it. Gabriel who sits in the presence of God, Gabriel said, “I come from the presence of God. I’ve got the highest position.” These angels that flank the Lord, these Seraphim with six wings that can declare His glory! Martin Luther said, “If I can just be there, that’ll be enough for me.” Just to be in His presence! I don’t have time to read all of the verses. Revelation 19:1 “After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, ‘Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power to the Lord our God!’” Glory! The angels constantly revel in the ability to glorify God.

Glory in the house. As I was studying this subject, I thought it was interesting, and I wanted to save time and talk about this point as a church to be practical. I would like for you as a Christian for your body to be a temple filled with the glory of God. Glorify God in your body. Isn’t that what it says? But collectively we are a temple that should be a dwelling place of God’s glory. If nothing else when people who are strangers or visitors come off the street into this church I hope they will see this is a place where God is glorified. If we’re not doing that, we’re not doing our job. It doesn’t matter how busy we are, if we’re not glorifying God in this place, we’re not worshipping Him, we’re not doing our job. If you’re not glorifying God in your temple, you’re not doing your job. That is the purpose of our existence that we might glorify Him. That’s what they do in heaven. That’s their highest joy. Some stories. Exodus 40:34 Moses saw the glory of God on the mountain. While on the mountain He gives them plans. He says, “Build Me a temple.” They consecrate the temple there on earth.

God honors it by filling this earthly tabernacle with His presence. So much so, it says, “Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tabernacle of meeting, because the cloud rested above it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” Moses who was on the mountain with God couldn’t even go into the church because there’s too much glory there. Would God we could have that problem here. The presence of God was so intense we all have to rush into the courtyard. “Wow! Are you ready to go back for some more?” It’s like looking at the sun. You come back in and say, “Oh, that’s all I can take. I’ve got to go back out.” Hasn’t happened just once, I Kings chapter 8, after Solomon dedicated the temple Israel was at the zenith of their holiness close to God, Solomon loved the Lord, filled with the Spirit of the Lord, people having come off David’s reign they were all close to the Lord, victory over their enemies. When God inaugurated that earthly temple, this is the second temple, “it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.”

Pastor White, wouldn’t that be nice if we all had to leave because of the glory of the Lord? Pastor Steve? Pastor Mike is preaching somewhere else today, or I’d include him. That we had to leave because the glory of the Lord is in this place? Ezekiel 43:5 in vision, “So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the Lord filled the house.” Would you like that? Lord, show us Your glory. That ought to be part of our invocation at the beginning of every worship service and I missed my chance today. Lord, show us your glory. You ought to have that on your prayer list along with praying for your spouse. Revelation 15:8 “The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple…” Now follow me, the first temple by Moses at one time was so filled with the glory of God that nobody could go in, not even the priests. Did we just read that?

When the temple of Solomon was inaugurated it was so full of the glory of God they all went running out. There was a third temple. When Jesus entered that temple and He drove out the moneychangers His glory flashed from His presence when He said, “This is My Father’s house,” and everything impure went running out of the temple, isn’t that right? And that’s why there was a prophecy that said the glory of the last temple, meaning that last earthly temple, exceeded even the glory of Solomon’s temple and the tabernacle. Do you know why? Because God in person came to that third temple. Even though it wasn’t the most beautiful temple, it was glorified more because Christ went into that temple. And then you get to Revelation, it’s telling us that the glory of the heavenly temple someday is going to be so filled that we can’t even enter that temple because intercession will cease. Michael is going to stand up. He’s going to flash His glory forth.

Right now we go there by faith. We go before the throne by faith, right? But someday probation is going to close and He’s going to cease His priestly ministry and that’s when “He that is just is just still, and he that is filthy is filthy still,” Revelation chapter 22. But I read these verses in the Bible about where the glory of the Lord so filled the place with His presence that they could not even minister. And you know what? When you’ve got that kind of glory, you don’t need a sermon. You don’t need a Bible study. If you had a glimpse of the glory of God, I was praying, “Lord, I don’t know if I’m ready for this sermon.” I’ve got nothing else prepared so I have to give you what I’ve got. I thought, I need a month to prepare for this because if I preach this sermon the way I ought to preach this sermon, you’ll understand that if you get a glimpse of the glory of God it’s worth a thousand sermons. If you have a glimpse of the glory of God, you’re going to know that sin cannot abide in His presence and it’ll bring reform in your life. if you had a glimpse of the glory of God, it would increase your faith in trusting your life to Him because that power would help you to know, if He’s got that kind of power, He can take care of my problems. If we had a glimpse, if we could just even get a little snapshot of the glory of God, we’d never be the same.

You’d never forget it. Did Paul ever forget it? What happened to Paul when he saw the glory of God? He became the greatest dynamo in the New Testament. It just set him on fire. If we could really get a picture of the glory, I pray the Lord would fill this place with His glory. Did Peter ever forget when He saw the glory of God on the mountain? You know the story. I preached on it here. One of the high points in Christ’s earthly ministry, pardon the pun, is when He took the disciples up the mountain and there He was glorified before them. Moses appeared; Elijah appeared and God the Father appears in a cloud. Why? Because they can’t see His face. By the way, when it says, “No man can see His face,” it’s speaking of the Father.

No man, Jesus said, “No man has seen the Father at any time.” And God the Father speaks from a cloud that’s veiling His glory. The disciples are cowering. Finally when they venture to look up, the glory is gone and what did Peter say about that experience on the mountain? II Peter 1:17 “For He received from God the Father” (separate from God the Son) “honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” Here Peter is writing this book before he dies, this last book. Did he ever forget that seeing the glory of God on the mountain? It changes you. Was Peter a different man after that experience? John 17:5 here’s some good news for you. Listen to Jesus’ prayer. “And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” Not only does Jesus say, glorify Me with the glory, did Jesus have the Father’s glory before He came to earth?

He’s saying, Father, I also want you to glorify them. He wants us to share in His glory. What an honor that is. I Corinthians 10:31 what should be the mobilizing force for a Christian? “Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Romans 3:23 why are we in trouble? Why is there sin in the world? Because we have all fallen “short of the glory of God.” That’s the problem. We have forgotten about His glory. That’s where sin comes from. I Peter 4:11 “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever.”

Look at how often, go through the epistles, go through the gospels, look at how frequently the disciples begin, end, and punctuate their letters with give God the glory, give God the glory, live for His glory, do all things for His glory, to Him belongs glory. The Lord’s prayer. When we start with our Father, it ends with to Him be the glory, “for thine is the glory”. When Jesus first came into this world it says an excellent glory surrounded the shepherds and what did the angel say? “Glory to God in the highest.” That was the message that the angel said introducing Jesus. Is it just me, or are we missing the subject of glory in church these days? Living for the glory of God. I think if we could understand and appreciate that’s what it’s all about it would make a lasting and permanent difference in our lives. The glory of God in this world is veiled. Even though you look up through the stars, you don’t really see what’s there.

Even though we look at the horizons and the sunsets and the splendor in creation, we don’t see it. “Now we see through a glass darkly.” When Moses was up on the mountain with the Lord and he talked to God face to face, it says, when he finished speaking, Exodus 34:33, not too long after when God showed him His glory, Moses is up on the mountain seeing the glory of God, “…when Moses had finished speaking with them, he put a veil on his face. But whenever Moses went in before the Lord to speak with Him, he would take the veil off.” If I put a veil on when I stood before you to preach you’d think, Did Doug just come from the Taliban? What’s going on? Is he…? I mean. You know why a bride veils her face? It’s not just for modesty, it’s because it’s supposed to veil her glory. Why did women, the Bible says women used to cover their hair. Why? Because her hair was a symbol of her glory. It was veiling their glory. And here, I’m not going to go off into that Bible study now. And here Moses would go off to talk to God face to face. Stephen has got some of these stars. We did it when he was a little younger.

It meant more back then, but we took these little plastic stars and stuck them on the ceiling around his light so that when we turn off the light at night these things, you know they’ve got the little bit of “radioactive” material in there and they glow for a while. After being exposed to the light they retain some of it and they slowly fade. Moses would talk to the Lord and somehow he would absorb the glory and even after he came down the mountain he was still glowing so much so, they would go, “Moses, please!” He’d say, “I’m sorry. I forgot the veil.” He’d put a veil over his face. Christ, when He came, was the glory of the Father veiled in humanity. Why did they have a veil between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place? Because the glory of God was in there. It wasn’t to hide a secret from them as much as protect them in case God should manifest His glory there between the two angels the Shekhinah they couldn’t handle it. It would kill them.

There was a veil there to protect them from His glory. Moses’ face shone and Moses would put the veil on his face again until he went to speak with the Lord. II Corinthians 4:3-6, you ought to write this one down. “But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ,” it’s the glory of Christ and the gospel that saves people. How did we start? First angel’s message, “Fear God and give glory to Him.” It’s the everlasting gospel that’s the glory. It’s the character of God in that message. “…the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”

The glory of God was in the face of Jesus. You remember when Judas brought the mob to arrest Jesus and they said, “Where is Jesus of Nazareth?” and Jesus went before them and He said, “I am He,” and some of His divinity, it was like the veil parted briefly and a little of His glory flashed out and it knocked down the mob that came to see Him. That’s the glory of God. “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory.”

You know in conclusion, I’m looking at the clock, what is the glory of God? I ought to probably start where I finished here. Moses said, “Lord, show me Your glory.” Would you like to see His glory? John 1:14 “And the Word became 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.” Moses said, “Show us Your glory.” Jesus is the essence of the glory of God. If you take all of the glory of God and you melt it down and condense it, it was all poured into a Person called Jesus. God came to earth to show His glory to us. Though it was veiled, Christ was the best reflection of His glory. II Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with unveiled face,” not like Moses, “beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord,” by beholding the face of Christ without a veil we “are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Would you like to share the glory of Christ? Not for your sake, but for His sake. It’s because we love the light of the Son, we want to be a mirror and reflect that light. We want to point people to Jesus.

Amen? Colossians 2:9 “For in Him dwells all of the fullness of the godhead bodily.” In Christ the glory of God was there though many missed it, it’s there. Someone sent me an amazing fact a little while ago that I’ve never used on the radio program, but I thought it might fit here. Do you know what laus deo means? Laus deo. It’s related to the word laud which means to praise or to glorify. Deo means God. Do you know where you find laus deo? There is a plaque at the top of the Washington Monument. A little history for you. When they started the Washington Monument, I think they started it in the 1850’s, they had to stop construction because of the Civil War. It wasn’t finished until like 1888 then twenty-five years later they finally put the cap on it which is an aluminum cone and on the top there are a variety of inscriptions, but the eastern inscription says, “Praise to God”. Pointing up. Nobody ever sees it. And when they laid the foundation, in the foundation stone they put a few things that commemorate our country, they put a Bible at the foundation stone of the Washington Monument. And there it is pointing straight as an arrow towards the heavens and most people driving around Washington don’t know. Everyone is working for human glory, but there that pinnacle in the middle, I know it looks like an Egyptian obelisk, the founders intended it to be a needle pointing to the glory of God. Most people don’t even know that’s there at the top. The purpose of Christ was to point to the glory of God. We are, as His followers, to emulate that.

Our purpose is to live for the glory of God. One of the great preachers of the great revival times was a man named Jonathan Edwards. How many of you have heard of Jonathan Edwards? Somebody did some genealogy work one time and they discovered that from this tremendous preacher… He preached and his sermons were so powerful. He’d work forty hours a week preparing for a sermon. I’m sorry to say I don’t spend that much time. Forty hours a week to prepare for one sermon. He would read his sermons, but he did it with such passion and intensity and they were so carefully written that sometimes people would fall down and begin praying and crying while he was reading and ask him to stop so they could take it all in. “Brother Edwards, stop! We can’t take any more!” his sermons were so powerful, and he brought a great revival to America. He wasn’t a dedicated Christian in his youth.

Matter of fact, he was a little bit of a troublemaker. But his father was a minister and one day he saw his father’s Bible open on his desk and he went in there and casually looked at one verse and this is what changed his life. I Timothy 1:17 “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever.” And he read those verses and he realized that the almighty God, how big He was, how great He was and that he had been denying God the right to his own heart and he was overwhelmed with shame and he decided from that point on to live for the glory of God. Let me give you a quote by Jonathan Edwards, very simple, very pithy. “Resolved, that all men should live for the glory of God. Resolved, second, whether others do or not, I will.” That was the motto, that was his slogan, his logo, his motto for his life is that all men should live for the glory of God, I’ve resolved that first, secondly, whether or not others do, I will. I think that’s a pretty good slogan to live by. What do you think? Now we might all point to the glory of God. I thought that was appropriate.

Friends, I think we ought to be praying, “Lord, show us your glory.” What you’re really saying is “Show me Jesus.” As we see Christ and we look into His face, we become transformed into His image from glory to glory. And as we see the character of God and the goodness of God, it inspires everything within us that will bring about that purity of heart and that holiness that we must have if we will see Him face to face someday. We’re all going to have to deal with the glory of God. We either need to be injected with it now in our lives so we can handle it when He comes or we will be destroyed by the glory of God if we don’t have it within us. I’m praying that the glory of Christ can be in us so we can endure it when He comes. Amen? Let’s make it our resolution that all men should live for the glory of God and that whether or not others do, I will. Is that your desire? Best song to sing right now is “To God Be the Glory” so why don’t we stand and we’ll turn to our closing hymn which is number 341, 341 “To God Be the Glory”. Let’s sing with our hearts.

To God be the glory, great things he hath done! So loved he the world that he gave us his Son, who yielded his life an atonement for sin, and opened the lifegate that all may go in. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear his voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,

let the people rejoice! O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son, and give him the glory, great things he hath done!

If at some point during the message this morning God’s Spirit has spoken to you and you feel an appetite for His glory, you’ve got a hunger, and you’d like to get a glimpse of God’s glory and you’d like for His glory to be reflected in your life. If it’s part of your prayer to say, “Lord, I want to be able to see You face to face someday. I want to be able to see Your glory now.” Is that your prayer? Let’s sing the third verse together and ask Him to make that a reality.

Great things he hath taught us, great things he hath done, and great our rejoicing thru Jesus the Son; but purer, and higher, and greater will be our wonder, our transport, when Jesus we see. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the earth hear his voice! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, let the people rejoice! O come to the Father thru Jesus the Son, and give him the glory, great things he hath done!

Now just before I close with prayer, I’d like to remind you, oh, our church we’d like this place filled with His glory, amen? So following the closing prayer, some may stay behind for prayer. If you have special needs there will be those here who will lead out with our prayer group and be happy to pray with you. I and some of the other pastors will be at the door to greet our visitors. Don’t forget tonight, friends, that we do have The Presence will be Pastor Evangelist Sean Boonstra will be preaching in the chapel. If you have friends who are interested in these messages, we would like to continue doing evangelism. Give out these handbills in your bulletins. They don’t do any good if you take it home and you just put it on your desk. Find someone this week. Invite them to our program right here in the sanctuary this Friday night with our brother Tim Jones is going to be sharing a powerful message and starting an evangelistic series and we want to get the message out and bring the people in. Amen? Let’s pray together.

Father in heaven, dear Lord, hollowed be thy name. It is our prayer that we can live for the purpose of doing all things to glorify You. I pray that our lives can be like a redwood that will point straight up giving glory to you and directing everybody to your goodness and your character. We pray that we will so gaze upon Christ that His character, His glory will be impressed on the photographic plates of our soul and that others who look upon us will see Jesus that His glory might be seen in us. I pray this will be the central focus of our life that all we do will bring glory to You. In Christ’s name we ask. Amen.

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