The Holiness of God

Scripture: Psalm 99:9
Date: 02/04/2012 
Lesson: 5
"It might be much nicer to focus only on God's love instead of His holiness, but that would e to distort the truth...Understanding God's holiness, and our sinfulness in contrast, is crucial to helping us to understand what the atonement is all about, why it is so desperately needed, and why it had to cost so much." Sabbath School lesson
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Welcome to Sacramento Central Seventh Day Adventist Church right here on the west coast of the United States of America. It is a wonderful day and we are so ready to sing - and I hope you are too. I hope you had a wonderful week and that you are just ready to praise the Lord with us. Let's turn in our hymnals to our first request - #111 'it took a miracle'. This is from Hiper in Australia, Charlene in the Bahamas, Shirley in California, Brenda in Canada, Yoca in Florida, Doug in Idaho, Debbie, Dwight, and Tyrone in Jamaica, Leo and Dorothy in Michigan, Vern, Sandie, Juanita, and Ray in North Carolina, and Roxene in Oregon.

#111 - We're going to sing all three stanzas - 'it took a miracle'. It does take a miracle. It took a miracle for Jesus to create the world in six days. And it's a miracle when he comes and he changes a life. You can see people one day and you think, 'I would not want to meet them in a dark alley.

' And then, the next minute they can be a completely different person because they meet Jesus. And it is a miracle - one that we will never understand, I don't think, through the ages of eternity - but I'm glad that it is a miracle that Jesus created this world, he created us, and he can change our hearts. If you have a favorite song that you would like to sing with us on an upcoming Sabbath, it is so simple. This is all you have to do - go to our website at, click on the 'contact us' link, and you can send in your favorite hymn requests and we will sing that with you on an upcoming Sabbath. Our next song - #184 'Jesus paid it all'.

This is a request from cynthia in antigua and barbuda, kenyon and felicia in australia, barbara in California, chris and gift in england, bob and Paula in Idaho, dr. Janet cynthia in india, turi in Minnesota, selina in the netherlands, kathy in Nevada, allwell in nigeria, vern, sandie, jenny and jamie in North Carolina, anthony in the Philippines, jean claude in saint lucia, dretchell in saudi arabia, gianni, katia, nathan, and Joshua in sweden, ashbert in tennessee, evelyn in trinidad and tobago, and susan in uganda. #184 - We'll sing the first, second and fourth stanzas. Father in Heaven, we thank you so much this morning for taking our crimson stains and washing them white as snow. For cleansing us and making us worthy and pure to stand in your sight one day very, very soon.

I pray that you'll be with us as we open up Your Word and we study together - that you will just fill us - fill this place and be with our extended family around the world as they are worshiping along with us right now. I pray in Jesus' Name, amen. Our lesson study is going to be brought to us by pastor mike thompson. He is our health and outreach pastor here at central church. Thank you very much ladies.

Happy Sabbath everybody. It's good to be here today. Are you blessed? Good. So am i. We're on lesson #5 this week, but before we begin I want to introduce to you this special offer.

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But we're on lesson #5 today and it's 'glimpsing God's holiness'. And there's so much to say about this I almost didn't know where to start in some ways, but I want to move straight into it here. I want to read the memory text. Psalm 99, verse 9 says "exalt the Lord our God, and worship at his holy hill; for the Lord our God is holy. Do we really understand what holiness is? What would we do - we will be discussing this by the way - if suddenly we found ourselves in the very presence of God with his holiness just - nothing hiding it - in our present state.

We wouldn't last very long, I can promise you that. But it's the purpose of this holy God, who is righteous - so terribly righteous - and I don't say terribly in an unjust way - his holiness, his majesty is truly awesome and awful. But in a righteous way. This God, who is all these things, and he is so holy, yet at the same time this God is so infinitely kind and merciful, he has devised a way in that great mind and that great heart of his - in conjunction with Jesus and the Holy Spirit - to find a way of still maintaining his holiness and, of course, the holiness of his law, which is a transcript of his character - still holding that aloft for eternity and yet still finding a way to redeem us, who in our fallen state, are just naturally inclined to violate his law. That's the wonder of the Gospel that God can do both these things - that his justice and his mercy can remain intact and yet meet at a wonderful place we call the cross, and thereafter produce the fruits of this most incredible transaction of righteousness on one hand, and love and mercy and grace on the other.

So, as we're looking at God's holiness today, just keep the other part of it in mind here, because they actually are as one. So I'm going to read - Monday is called, 'to be set apart' - and I'm going to read from Genesis 2:1-3 - speaking of how, in the lesson, it mentions here that - well, I'll just read it. It says, "thus the heaven" - Genesis 2, verses 1 through 3 - "thus the heavens and the earth are finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day.

And sanctified it because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." The lesson rightly reminds us that the word sanctified comes from the same root word, which is holy - they're both synonymous. So when God blessed the seventh day - the Sabbath - he declared it holy and he made it holy. He made it what he declared it. By the way, that's what he does with us when we come to him - when we come to Christ - and we are justified. He doesn't just declare us righteous, he makes us so.

He makes us what he declares us. That's the power of the Gospel. And so, it's true to say that the first direct statement from God saying, 'this is holy. I sanctified it.' - Is, of course, when we read in Genesis, about the seventh day. It says very clearly, 'God blessed it.

He sanctified it.' So you couldn't get it any plainer than that. But I believe the lesson - the Bible, rather - clearly implies - I'm not picking faults with the author because this author has done a wonderful job and what she does gets edited as well and, you know, sometimes people move things around, so I'm not trying to be nit picky or say, 'but oh I found something even more so.' No, I'm not coming from that angle. But I do want to make this point. I believe that the very first thing that God declared holy and made holy on creation week took place not on the seventh day when he made the Sabbath, established it, and said, 'this is holy' and made it holy, I believe that on the sixth day, God - of creation week - God created something that he declared holy and made holy. And that's, of course, who? Adam.

Genesis chapter 1, verse 26 - this is where he made man - the first man in his own image. Genesis 1:26. "And God said, 'let us make man in our image, after our likeness." Verse 27 - "so God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them." So, ladies, you were made holy as well. But, I read you this little statement here from patriarchs and prophets, page 45. Aren't you glad, by the way, that you were made just as holy as adam? I didn't hear any comments there.

Patriarchs and Prophets, page 45. "Man was to bear God's image both in outward resemblance and in character." By the way, what kind of a character does God have? It's a holy one. Continuing back with the statement here - adam, man - "his nature was in harmony with the will of God, his affections were pure, his appetites and passions were under the control of reason. He was holy." He was what? "He was holy and happy bearing the image of God, and in perfect obedience to his will." On the next - well page close by, page 48, it says, "our first parents, though created innocent and holy" - it says "they were not placed beyond the possibility of wrongdoing." So in Patriarchs and Prophets, twice we get this statement that they were holy. You would have to be really, wouldn't you? For God to say, you know, 'you bear my image and our likeness.

' You would have to be holy. But, our problem today, I believe, is this: we are so far removed from that just amazing time in history, of adam's creation. I mean, we're what - about 6,000 years downstream now. We have a lot of skewed dna and, who knows what else. Our ancestors have given us a fine bountiful legacy of sinful desires and passions.

Every generation is the weakest that ever was and we're the weakest so far because we're the current ones. And it's incredible to think that Jesus, the longer he delays - on one hand, we want him to come - but the longer he delays, it means that in the weakest generation of all he's finally going to demonstrate what his grace can do. So, there's another side to the coin - an upside - even though it's God's wish that he could have come a long time ago if we had been ready. But, nonetheless, we're so far removed from that time of adam's creation - we're so physically degenerate, so naturally morally debased and spiritually blinded by generations of our fallen ancestry, we would be absolutely astounded if adam should walk into our church this morning. I mean we would - we'd be astounded and aghast - not just by his size.

He'd have to bend his head and probably turn sideways to get through the door. And you know, that would be - you'd see this huge man stand up here - if he'd sit on the platform, we'd just be awestruck at the size. But, you know, that's not the main point. The thing that we would be struck with the most is the radiance of adam's glory that would radiate from him, just as God radiates the light of his glory. So, when adam was created, he was created this being, but God infused into him the same moral likeness - I don't understand how it works.

Maybe we never will, but there's something about God's holiness that actually radiates light. Now, we know he's the creator. He's the source of all energy for the universe - and when you have energy, you've got heat and light so you could say, 'well there's a physics side of God, he produces light because of that.' Okay, maybe that's so, but there's something about sinlessness and righteousness that just manifests itself in a glorious radiance. And if adam walked in here we'd just be - we wouldn't be able to look at him because of the glory of God. It would be just incredible.

And so, when God made adam, of course, he clothed him like this. But getting back to this brilliant luminescence of adam's holy sanctified state. This is why, going back to the Garden of Eden and creation, he was therefore - because he was sanctified, he was set apart - and sanctification means to be set apart as a sacred vessel - to be set apart for holy use. We're familiar with these things. We speak about the Sabbath, you know, the Sabbath was sanctified and blessed - it's set apart as a holy entity.

And we worship God on Sabbath. And adam too, because God gave him this righteousness, this glory, he too was set apart from every other created being or object upon this earth. And I would hope that if we could just kind of squint on that glory of adam as he came from the creator's hand, we might be able to catch something and be overcome and awed by how unholy humanity has become in 6,000 years compared to how humanity was when first established there ,000 years ago. And so, if we found ourselves awed by adam's holiness in comparison with our own, then how much more should we or would we feel awed if the creator himself followed adam into the sanctuary? We're dealing here now with glory and things we can't put into human words, but you get the picture. We're so stunted and so far removed from that, that we can barely grasp these things.

But God is this holy being and if he walked in here we would become consumed to smoke and ashes, that's why he hides his glory. That's why Jesus came to this world with his dazzling holiness radiating from him. No, he couldn't do that. So what did he do? It was hidden. It was garbed.

It was all tabernacled and hidden inside this human frame, so that way fallen degenerate sinners could walk up to him and, you know, knock against him in a crowd. If they only knew that you just brushed shoulders with the creator of this universe. That was probably beyond their grasp. But in Exodus 15:11 it says, "who is like unto thee, o Lord, among the Gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises doing wonders?" You remember well we just spoke about adam - how he reflected the glory of God and, of course, he lost that when he sinned. Suddenly he felt - and eve felt this nakedness.

They were clothed in this garment of light. We spoke about adam coming in before he lost that garment of light, but somebody else as well who was privileged to wear that garment of light to reflect the divine holiness of God, of course, was Moses. You remember, I assume, the story of when Moses was 40 days up in the mount with God? What do we read? I'm going to read Exodus 34:29 and 30. Days and finally Moses comes down and we read as follows: "and it came to pass, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not" - I like the old english, don't you? It says he didn't realize - "that the skin of his face shone while he talked with them. And when aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.

" Now, I'm sure if it was just a light they would probably want to have a look - they'd say, 'hey, have you seen Moses' face? It's really shiny.' Everybody would be flocking around, 'let me see your face Moses. Wow, you just shine like a light.' There was obviously something different about this light that it scared them. It terrified them. They just wanted to get away from it. Why? Because it wasn't just some ordinary light from some led little instrument, or the lights we have here today - not even sunlight, as glorious as that is.

The light shining from Moses' face - and I've already tried to kind of get my mind about this - around this - and try to get it in words and it's pretty hard - but the light shining from Moses' face emitted that the atmosphere, I believe - this is the best I can try and describe it - emitted that the atmosphere of God's glorious yet terrible holiness, which is a consuming fire - and it's this something, this entity that it radiates that causes sinners naturally to just want to get away from that. Because it's not just a nice sunlight, it's not a sunlamp, it's not a light here, it's not sunshine, it's not led, but this is something that originated from a holy God. Here it comes. You get the point, right? It's hard to put these things into words. And so fearful was the spectacle of Moses reflecting the holiness of God, we may wonder, 'well how could Moses, kind of, get away with this?' I mean, he was as human as the rest of us, was he not? Sure.

He had the same genes - the same deficient skewed genes from his first father and a few generations since that time. And here he had existed for 40 days up on the mount with God and he wasn't consumed to smoke. Well, while Moses wasn't permitted to actually look in the face of God - God showed him one time his back part - and God walked by and declared his holiness and his righteousness. But, nonetheless, this is what we read. Numbers 13:3.

This is why Moses was able to endure the glory. "Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men that were upon the face of the earth." Meek. Does that tell us much about him - meek? It does, actually. Moses was obviously an extremely converted man because not only in the Bible do we get something of a view of his ingenuity, his leadership qualities, he was a leader, he was an administrator, and if you go in the Spirit of prophesy references and look for Moses - there's a whole - there's page after page - but you'll see one there that says 'characteristics'. It's about point #6 - something like that - and you see all these things that it says about him and it makes it really very, very clear that this - the reason why Moses could walk in the presence of God was not in some haphazard fashion, but he was pure.

He was meek. Meek is one of the characteristics of somebody who is truly born again and cleansed from sin. In Numbers 13:7, God's speaking of Moses. He says, 'my servant Moses is faithful in all mine house." So he was faithful to God. Could God declare him to be a faithful servant while Moses, on the other hand, may have been unfaithful and belligerently, deliberately violating God's law? Obviously not.

He was faithful. Then one short little statement I want to give you from 'my life today' page 320, and this kind of nails it. "Moses was of the purest character." "Moses was of the purest character." That's why he could spend 40 days on the mount with God and not be consumed. Now, we know toward the end of his career, you know, he was still like us. He still had a fallen nature, but he had learned through the grace of God to keep that fallen nature subdued.

Through the grace of God he reMained in a converted state. But, you know, every day is different and toward the end of his life there, what did he do? He kind of lost it a little bit, didn't he? That fallen nature that had always been there, it popped up and he transgressed. But that still does not negate the fact that he had a pure - he was pure in heart. He had a pure character and this is why God was able to have him go on the mount. Matthew 5:8 says, "blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

" And this is why Moses saw God - he was pure in heart. If there had been anything in Moses' heart - something hidden back there that he was cherishing - the righteousness of God would have gone forth to meet that and he would have been gone. But that's why he wasn't gone, because he was pure. But I want to say this, the grace available to Moses to develop such a holy character, to be sanctified and to be set apart as a holy, pure vessel - the grace that abounded toward Moses to be that kind of a person, is the same mercy and grace that God has available to abound toward us. So we, like Moses, can share that same holiness that he had that God gave to him.

The sanctifying power of God that set Moses apart, again, is the kind of sanctifying power that God wants to use putting us as instruments of his service. And one day, as the divine character in us is perfectly reproduced, we, like Moses, will behold the undimmed glorious, radiant, awful but wonderful righteousness and holiness of the great God of this universe. An undimmed glory - and we'll be able to be there and not be consumed because we will be like him. This is what John speaks about. He says we have this hope and when he comes he says, 'we shall see him because we shall be like him and we will be like as he is.

' Is anything too hard for God, I ask you? Is anything too sinful, too abhorrent, too anchored in the dirt and the rock of the evil of this world that God can't just reach down and just pull that thing out and eradicate it? There's nothing that God cannot do, beloved. Not a thing he cannot do if we will let him. If we, like Moses, will be meek and just submit ourselves and say, 'Lord, here I am. I know I've got some rough edges Lord, but I know they need to go so here I am.' And with meekness we just submit. You know, when we do that, God's not just going to say, 'I've been waiting for this, come here.

' And grab us by the scruff of the neck and just, you know, get us on a wash board or some emery cloth board and - 'I'm going to get you right! I'm going to make you shine!' No. He will make us shine, but it will be with the kindest, gentlest touch because he knows, as David said in psalm 103, he says, 'he knoweth our frame. He remembers that we are just dust.' So how gently he picks us up - these little things - a holy God and he's got the time to spend on us. I'm so thankful. And then, when we are like him - Matthew 14:43 - let's read from verse 41 about the end of the world.

It says, "The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." Who wants to be there? But look at this, verse 43, "then" - contrast here - "then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their father." So, we shine forth. What makes us shine forth? The holiness and the glory of God's holiness with which we are recreated as adam was when he came forth from the creator's hand. And I forget where it was - just this morning I was reading in one spirit of prophecy book - I may have even written it down in my notes - we'll see. the Lord says there, 'if we saw adam now, in his glory' - he says - 'it would be too much to look at. I already tried to imagine that, but she says it would be just too much for us to look at.

So we will have that righteous holiness and glory of God. We will truly be set aside, eternally, forever. The wicked will go one way, but we will be God's treasure, set apart to be his servants forever. I want to go to the next section - 'to repent in dust and ashes' - I didn't go to Monday, I decided to move over that. We may not get to the end of the whole lesson today, but there's so much here, so there you have it.

Anyway, 'to repent in dust and ashes' this is Tuesday's section. I want to read from job 42:5 and 6. Job said, "I have heard of thee" - speaking about God or to God - "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes." Am I in the right place there? Job 42, verses 5 and 6. So what did job see? He saw the holiness of God - and what did he do? He repented in dust and ashes.

Now, did job need to repent? The Bible says he was a righteous man. Well, the point it's making here is this: even though job was righteous - remember, he had a fallen nature. He'd gotten adam's skewed dna and some other stuff behind. And yet, not withstanding these impediments, he sought God's grace, his mercy, his right - and he was a righteous man, but even still, as he saw the glory of God, it helped job remember his place. He was a son of adam who had fallen, and it was this that made him say, 'I abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.

' There are those who encounter God's holiness and while they are filled with fear and trembling and they see their wretchedness contrasted with God's holiness, they don't necessarily repent - they don't necessarily truly repent. It's a bit - well not just a bit - but very much like - as the Israelites were gathered on the plain below Mount Sinai. In Exodus 34:16 it says that the people trembled at the sound of the trumpet - obviously blown by an angel. You know, we should spend time thinking of these things, especially when we're looking at the holiness of God. Spend time regularly going to Mount Sinai and just picturing that scene.

They got up that morning and there was this cloud on Mount Sinai. It was dark and there was lightnings and thunder and it scared the people to death. God was there. Why covered in a cloud? Because if his glory had shone through they would have been done. But God, in mercy, he covered himself.

But, nonetheless, the God of absolute - and the author of all holiness and righteousness was there on the summit of that mount and the rocks began to smoke and smolder and melt and it says it went up like the smoke of a furnace. Actually, in Exodus 34:18 - it tells us in verse 16 that it trembled, but then it says in verse 18 "and the Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly." Just contemplate that if you will. Remember the terrible majesty of this scene. The thing that next got them so scared was the trumpet blowing. You've got to read it.

It says there was a trumpet blast and it got louder and louder and louder and louder - who knows how loud it got, but it scared these people to death. And then they heard the voice of God. I won't even try and impersonate it. It would be sacrilegious, probably. This voice just resonant, just booming out as he speaks his holy, sacred law, which is a reflection of his holiness.

That voice just kind of rumbled off into the distance like thunder. Boom. You know that kind of thing? Doesn't it give you goose bumps? It should. It should give you goose bumps as you think about these things. It really should.

If you get down on your knees and say, 'oh Lord, help me to see this. And Lord, it's okay if you want to give me goose bumps.' Not to be kind of sensational or emotional but hey, these people got emotional, didn't they? Aren't people going to be emotional when Jesus comes again? Very emotional. There's going to be weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth. Oh yeah, let's not be ashamed to bring some emotion into our religion. Sometimes we're too british, you know? British stiff upper lip - I've seen a lot of british people with a quivering lip, I can tell you that.

We have these stereotypes and the brits are just as - they can get rubber lipped as much as anyone else. But you know, I'm trying - the actual voice of God speaking these things and so God spoke this and his voice rumbles across the plain and the mountains. And the plain is shaking. In Exodus 20, verse 19, the people - after God had spoken - "they said unto Moses, 'speak thou with us, and we will hear, but let not God speak with us lest we die." 'Moses it's scary. Please tell him to be quiet.

You talk to us instead.' These are - there were grown men among this crowd. There were warriors. This is why, you know, when Jesus comes again - well, let me backtrack - walk down the streets of any city anywhere and you see these big guys - I'm only jealous because I'm not one, really, but you see these big guys, you know, they swagger around, you know, they're the gangsters and the cowboys and they think they're tough and they - you know, you've seen them - you go to the courthouse you see them. You go to the juveNile court and you see them there as well, and some of them are tough. They are hard as nails, especially in prison.

But you know what? All the gangsters - all the swaggering gangsters, all the swaggering cowboys, when Jesus comes they will be on the ground and they will be squealing like women - sorry ladies, but they will be squealing like little girls because through this life, all they've had a view of is their own toughness - their form of holiness if you like, and their peers. This is a problem with human beings, we're so blinded to the glory and the majesty of God. And oh do we need that back again. Oh do we need to ask the Lord to take the scales from our eyes and let us see that again. But, you know, while we're meddling in sin we'll always be dim.

We need to lay aside, if it's a problem in our lives, so we can see. What do we see here? Next verse, Exodus 24:7. Now, okay, the point I was making is some people can - they see the terrible majesty of God and they're scared, but they still don't truly repent. So here were the children of Israel, they said to Moses, 'please, tell God not to talk to - you talk to us, please. It's just too much.

' And then a little further on in Matthew - sorry, Exodus 24:7 - here they are now, they've got this proposition about the covenant and Moses said, you know, 'God wants to know if you're going to obey him.' And they said - in Exodus 24:7 - "all that the Lord hath said we will do, and be obedient." 'So here we are Moses, we're - God is our witness. He is righteous and we will be obedient to his righteous precept. We will be a righteous people. Yes. We're in.

' And yet, in spite of something of a view of God's glory, his righteousness and hearing his voice, a few days later, in spite of the terrifying encounter with God, we find them doing what without their clothes on? Dancing around a golden calf. That's in Exodus chapter 32. So much for the terrible majesty and holiness of God, which they had cowed before God in awe as they witnessed this, while their earlier promise was to be obedient and do right. They weren't doing right because they still had not been cleansed from sin. And that's the point I made a moment ago.

You see, we can cower and scream all we want if we see God's righteousness and holiness and say, 'Lord, I will serve you.' But, where's the proof? The proof is the next day and the day after that and the day after that, when his glory has gone off sinai and it's just you then and His Word and the promises given. That's the real test as to whether you're really converted or not. Your fear - while it can strike terror into us, it has a habit of kind of fading away once the light's gone out. You know what I mean? And so, the test came soon enough for Israel. Moses went up on the mount.

He was there for 40 days with God and there was nothing much happening now. They could see the cloud but it was kind of quiet. And so, bit by bit, you know what? 'Let's just have a little bit of fun, shall we? You know, let's just do a little bit.' And the next thing you know, there we have it. They're doing obeisance to this golden calf and there's this orgy going on. Such repentance is not repentance at all, and such efforts to still try and serve God in such a carnal state is doomed to failure because figuratively, with the best intentions in the world, figuratively, we can finish up with our clothes off, dancing around some golden idol - some golden calf, just as treacherously and insincere as the people of Israel so long ago.

I want to read you a statement here. "Witnessing holiness is not enough. We have to let God take the sin out so he can make us holy." This is from the a.g. Daniells book, 'Christ our righteousness.' If you don't have this, you need to get it. It's been out for a long time.

You can still get it at the abc. But there's a statement in here on page 34, Daniells' book 34, which is actually review and herald, December 13, 1887. And it says this about those - "all who form this union of oneness with God and Christ in his holiness, must feel their need of the atoning blood of Christ. They must have a change of heart. They must submit their own will to the will of God.

There will be a struggle with outward and internal obstacles." - I know that myself in my little life - in my journey. "There must be a painful work of detachment as well as a work of attachment. Pride, selfishness, vanity, worldliness - sin in all its forms must be overcome. We can keep one, but as long as it's only one. No, it doesn't say that does it? Would you expect to find that in here? No.

That's the Gospel some people preach, by the way. "If we would enter into the union with Christ, we must overcome them all" - not in our own strength, but through his holiness in us. I can't overcome one sin. I can't overcome one bad thought. I can't do anything, but Jesus can.

That's why I cling to him. Here it is now. "The reason why many find the Christian life so deplorably hard, why they are so fickle or so variable like the children of Israel, is that they try to attach themselves to Christ without first detaching themselves from these cherished idols." Does that make sense? Does it? It should, yeah. You cannot serve God and mammon. You can't serve Jesus while you're trying to serve the devil.

You can't expect to come to church and maybe get a glimpse of God's holiness and experience that holiness and come out of church just - 'oh Lord, you're so holy and I hunger for that.' You can't come to church and expect that if the night before - Friday night - you're supposed to be an adventist - you're in the movies, or some nightclub, or with some person you should not be with. And you come into church and say, 'oh, I better clean up my act today, but after the Sabbath I'll probably go out again.' You won't get any of that experience from God. You won't get nothing, right? You won't get anything, but you can have everything if we respond to God's holiness. Our righteousness is already assured us if we will let him have his way in our lives. Can anything be harder than that? Can anything be easier than that? Well, I'll admit, it's not easy while we're trying to do it ourselves.

If we, in the morning, can get this battle decided, the rest of the day, yeah you'll get attacked, you'll get assailed, but when you're anchored in Christ, right at the first thing you get up, you fall on your knees and say, 'Lord, here I am. I'm weak as they come, but I don't want to sin. I'm tempted to sin. I love sin, Lord, that's my problem. But I want to love you instead.

Supplant this love for the flesh. Take it out my heart and give me love for you. Only you can do it, but I know you can do it and in faith I believe for the just shall live by faith.' Okay, all right. Now, job, of course, he was truly repentant. I made the point when I got on to this section that there are those who can see the glory of God and they fear but they're not truly repentant.

But job saw the glory of God and he did repent, he abhorred the inherent selfishness of his fallen nature. And what did it say? He repented in dust and ashes. Now, true repentance does not spring from a fear of being consumed by God's holiness. That's not true repentance. It springs from coming to the realization that, as holy as God is, as terrible as God is in his creative power and majesty and - you know, glory - again, I wish I could - I had words to explain it, but they haven't been invented yet.

This God, who is awful in majesty, at the same time he has a heart as tender as a little child. He has a heart that is so righteous. Sin is consumed in his presence, yet he has a heart that has more love and compassion in it toward me than if I had ten million gazillion grandmothers who just doted on me. Not even ten million gazillion grandmothers who doted on me, their love, could I have had that many, would be just a little dust - fleck - compared to the love that God has for me and for each one of us. And so, when we sin, because God has a tender heart, yeah our sins offend him, but, you know, they hurt him.

They hurt him. God's got feelings. And, therefore, true repentance means that we don't end up feeling sorry for ourselves because this holy God is going to just let me have it. True repentance means that we end up feeling sorry for God because we've hurt him. Our time is nearly gone and we really got nowhere, but I'll finish this section here.

The other parts, which are further on, about 'demons tremble' and, there was another part here, 'depart from me' - there's some powerful stuff here. But, I'm going to read - this is true repentance and this is what job had - "we often sorrow" - this is Desire of Ages 300 - "we often sorrow because our evil deeds bring unpleasant consequences to ourselves, but this is not repentance. Real sorrow for sin is the result of the working of the Holy Spirit. the Spirit reveals the ingratitude of the heart that has slighted and grieved the Savior, and brings us in contrition to the foot of the cross. By every sin Jesus is wounded afresh, and as we look upon him whom we have pierced, we mourn for the sins that have brought anguish upon him.

Such mourning will lead to the renunciation of sin." That's repentance. That's what job had and that kind of repentance is light years distant from the repentance of the children of Israel as they stood around the bottom of Mount Sinai. But job said this as well - he knew he had no righteousness in himself. He knew he had no holiness, but he knew that he could have it in God and he looked forward to the Messiah coming with just as much surety and believing and knowing it was going to be real just as much as we have the ability to look back and say, 'it was real.' And because of this, because he was one with God in holiness, he was able to say this - job 19:25 - "for I know that my redeemer liveth and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.

" They should behold and be able to stand in the countenance of God - in the presence of God and shine like the noonday sun. Well, our time is gone. I just want - in conclusion, I just would encourage you - invite you again to get in touch with Amazing Facts' free offer 'Jesus devotional' - offer #ss2105. -866-Study-more. -866-788-3966.

God bless you. Journey back through time to the center of the universe. Discover how a perfect angel transformed into satan, the arch villain. The birth of evil. A rebellion in heaven.

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