3ABN Australia Homecoming

Knowing God By His Character

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript



Series Code: HCAU

Program Code: HCAU180002A

00:06 And this is eternal life that they may know You,
00:10 the only true God,
00:12 and Jesus Christ, Whom You have sent.
00:20 Welcome to 3ABN Australia Homecoming.
00:31 We're so glad that you are joining us
00:34 from all around the world,
00:35 and also those here this evening.
00:38 We want to thank you for taking the time to join us
00:42 at the 3ABN Australia 2018 Homecoming.
00:46 And with me up the front is Jill Morikone,
00:49 she's the general manager for 3ABN USA,
00:53 and it's a pleasure to have you here, Jill.
00:55 We're looking forward to the programs
00:57 that people will be able to enjoy,
00:59 and to be a blessing in your search for the truth,
01:03 and to know God.
01:04 Amen, Thank you so much, John.
01:06 It is a privilege for my husband Greg and I,
01:08 and the rest of the 3ABN team
01:10 who came here down under
01:12 to see what God is doing here in Australia.
01:15 It's a privilege to be here with you and your wife,
01:17 and the team with 3ABN Australia,
01:19 and I love the theme, Knowing God,
01:22 taken from John 17:3,
01:25 "This is life eternal, that they might know
01:27 the only true God in Jesus Christ,
01:31 whom thou has sent."
01:32 So what an incredible theme for this camp meeting.
01:35 It is, and it's been an impression
01:38 by God upon my mind now for two or three years
01:41 that people need to know the reason
01:45 and understand the meaning
01:48 of what God wants for every one of you,
01:51 and everyone sitting here, God wants to spend eternity.
01:55 Did you hear what I said?
01:56 Eternity with you,
01:58 not just the threescore years and ten.
02:02 God wants you because He loves you so much
02:06 to be with Him eternally.
02:07 And tonight, we've got John Lomacang,
02:10 and his presentation is By His Character.
02:15 So knowing God,
02:17 and you're going to be talking about subjects,
02:19 Knowing God by His Character.
02:22 Amen. Absolutely.
02:24 But before Pastor John presents the Word of God,
02:27 we're going to hear the Word of God
02:28 through music.
02:30 And we brought with us Tim Parton,
02:31 he's the general manager
02:33 of the Praise Him Music Network.
02:36 He's a man of God, and a gifted anointed singer,
02:40 and musician, and a personal friend,
02:42 and we're so blessed he will be ministering a song,
02:45 He is to Me.
02:46 Thank you. So we will...
02:48 Next voice you hear after Tim will be John Lomacang.
03:01 He's the Lion of Judah The sweet Rose of Sharon
03:05 The fairest of 10,000 The Ancient of Days
03:09 The Alpha, Omega The King of all glory
03:13 The bright Morning Star And the God of my praise
03:18 Who can describe everything that He is?
03:22 All I can say is He's mine and I'm His
03:27 'Cause the One who walks On the wings of the wind
03:32 Walks beside me
03:35 And the One who's holding The world in His hand
03:40 Holds my heart
03:43 He spoke and the world was created in space
03:48 And yet He was willing to die in my place
03:52 Redeemer, Redeemer, Deliverer
03:55 The ransom who set my soul free
03:59 Hallelujah
04:02 What a Savior He is to me
04:12 He's the strength in my weakness
04:14 The joy in my sorrow
04:16 The peace like a river that flows through my life
04:20 His new morning mercies And hope for the journey
04:24 And love that will conquer the struggle and strife
04:29 Who can describe everything that He is?
04:32 All I can say is He's mine and I'm His
04:38 'Cause the One who walks On the wings of the wind
04:43 Walks beside me
04:46 And the One who's holding The world in His hand
04:51 Holds my heart
04:55 He spoke and the world was created in space
04:59 And yet He was willing to die in my place
05:03 Redeemer, Deliverer
05:05 The ransom that set my soul free
05:11 Hallelujah
05:13 What a Savior He is to me
05:20 Oh, I can't describe everything that He is
05:24 All I can say is He's mine and I'm His
05:30 'Cause the One who walks on the wings of the wind
05:35 Walks right beside me
05:38 And the One who's holding The world in His hand
05:43 Holds my heart
05:47 He spoke and the world was created in space
05:51 And yet He was willing to die in my place
05:55 Redeemer, Deliverer
05:57 Ransom that set my soul free
06:03 Hallelujah
06:05 What a Savior He is to me
06:11 What a Savior He is to me
06:34 Amen. Amen.
06:38 Thank you, Tim.
06:40 Thank you for that message.
06:42 What a Redeemer and Savior, He is to me
06:47 Tonight we're going to turn our minds and our eyes
06:50 to God's Word.
06:52 But before we do that, I'd like to open with a word,
06:56 not with a word of prayer, but with a prayer.
07:00 Recently, I've ran into an older lady
07:02 who said to me,
07:04 "Why do we say a word of prayer,
07:06 and then say more than one word?"
07:09 And she has really messed my mind up.
07:12 So when I say, "Let's have a word of prayer,"
07:14 I have to rephrase that until I get to the place
07:16 where I could understand it's not a single word,
07:19 but it is, in fact, an entire phrase.
07:22 So bow your heads with me as I have many words of prayer.
07:27 Loving Father in heaven, as we open Your Word,
07:32 we pray that You will speak to our hearts,
07:37 that You'll transform our minds,
07:38 and You'll help us to understand
07:41 what it means to know God.
07:44 In Your precious and holy name I pray,
07:47 amen.
07:50 Open your Bibles with me to John 17:3.
07:55 It's a very familiar passage,
07:56 one that we have repeated many times before,
08:00 but in looking at it again for the first time,
08:03 I've seen what I didn't see the first time I looked at it.
08:08 John 17:3, and I'm reading
08:11 from the New King James Version.
08:15 "And this is eternal life that they may know you,
08:20 the only true God and Jesus Christ,
08:24 whom you sent,
08:27 knowing God by His character."
08:30 Tonight, come with me on a digital journey
08:34 with mind blowing realities.
08:38 Whether we realize it or not,
08:40 we live in the most prolific information age
08:43 known to humanity
08:44 where we are surrounded,
08:47 whether conscious or unconscious
08:49 by a world that has taken us captive,
08:53 by its creative abilities.
08:56 And by the time we notice the impending digital tsunami
08:59 escaping it is futile.
09:02 I've noticed how the world has changed around me
09:04 in just my short life,
09:07 and as my hair gets grayer by the moment,
09:11 I discovered that this world is becoming less and less
09:13 of a place that I want to spend eternity,
09:16 and I'm looking forward to eternity with Christ.
09:19 But tonight I want you to walk with me
09:21 through the development of the age
09:22 in which we live to understand in a very real way
09:28 why we are becoming less and less informed
09:33 of the most effective ways of getting to know God.
09:37 According to Steven E. Schoenherr,
09:40 who wrote in 2004,
09:42 a book entitled The Digital Revolution,
09:45 he says the following words.
09:48 "The Digital Revolution,
09:49 also known as the Third Industrial Revolution,
09:54 is a shift from the mechanical and analog technology
09:59 to do digital electronics which began anywhere
10:03 from the late 1950s to the late 1970s."
10:08 He also goes on to suggest that the revolution
10:10 did not just start about 50, or 60, or 70 years ago,
10:15 but it predates even the Industrial Revolution.
10:20 And he states that the foundation
10:22 that we are now standing on
10:24 in the creative world around us began some 100 years ago.
10:29 He says, in less than 100 years,
10:31 the rising tide of revolution has transformed us
10:36 from the Agricultural Revolution
10:39 and the Industrial Revolution
10:41 to the Digital Revolution that has overwhelmed us
10:45 by the information age.
10:48 I was standing in front of a professor one day,
10:51 and he says, "If we can gauge the environment
10:55 that we now live in..."
10:56 If tonight we had the ability to show you the radio waves
11:01 that are flying around this room,
11:02 you'll duck for fear of your life.
11:07 With infrared technology and wave perceiving technology,
11:11 right now we are surrounded by a world that we had no idea
11:16 would capture our minds
11:17 and take our intellect on a journey
11:19 without our permission.
11:22 But the information age
11:23 is the information age that has come to us.
11:26 And the one thing that is left out
11:27 is the information about who God really is.
11:32 And so here we are locked
11:34 into an age where our devices
11:37 are incessantly and continuously
11:39 becoming smarter than we are.
11:44 Joseph Schumpeter, an Austrian economist
11:49 and professor of Harvard University
11:50 wrote in 1939 the following words.
11:53 He said, "The notion of the Digital Revolution
11:58 is part of the theory of socioeconomic evolution."
12:04 Listen carefully,
12:05 "Which consists of an incessant process
12:09 of creative destruction."
12:12 He says our computers, and our cell phones,
12:14 and the Internet has pulled us
12:17 into a process called creative destruction.
12:21 Sounds like an oxymoron.
12:22 How do you create and destroy at the very same time?
12:26 But follow closely,
12:28 he says, "The process of creative destruction
12:31 is the process of industrial mutation."
12:35 You'll get it in the moment.
12:37 "Incessantly revolutionizing the economic structure
12:41 from event, incessantly destroying the old,
12:45 and incessantly creating the new."
12:48 And that's where the phrase comes in,
12:50 "Out with the old, and the new."
12:52 If you've been around long enough,
12:53 you know that the world 30 years ago,
12:56 40 years ago is not the same world today.
12:58 Can I get an amen?
13:00 The world has changed tremendously.
13:03 Creative destruction, however,
13:05 demands an answer to the question,
13:07 what is being created, and what is being destroyed?
13:09 Let me suggest to you
13:11 before I go to the professionals
13:12 that what is being destroyed in our world today
13:15 is a personal relationship with Christ,
13:19 and the continual relationship with the devices
13:22 that cannot communicate back to us.
13:24 I said to one young person sitting in my office,
13:27 if you would turn off your cell phone and look at it,
13:29 when it's in the off position,
13:31 you will see a reflection
13:32 of the only person that matters,
13:34 and that's you.
13:37 But you have to turn your devices off
13:40 to make that connection.
13:42 I had two young ladies sitting on my couch
13:43 in my office at the church,
13:45 and they were sitting very close to one another.
13:47 And in the quiet, hood of my office,
13:49 as I was looking through my mail,
13:50 one turned to the other and said, "Did you get it?"
13:55 And the other one said, "Get what?"
13:57 And they said, "The message I just sent to you."
14:00 And I said, "Why don't you just talk to her
14:04 rather than sending her messages
14:05 through a cell phone."
14:08 We live in an age now that has taken us away
14:10 from communication face-to-face
14:15 to communication with digital devices.
14:18 But it gets even deeper than that.
14:23 Roy Debjani, in a book entitled,
14:27 Cinema in the Age of the Digital Revolution,
14:30 he says, "Central to the focus of the revolution
14:33 is mass production,
14:36 and the widespread creative destruction
14:39 of the environment around us.
14:43 The process of creative destruction
14:45 has so permeated our world to such an extent
14:49 that it is continually destroying one reality
14:53 and replacing it with another.
14:56 But in order for creative destruction,
14:59 and is marched to continue,
15:01 it must abandon each fading generation
15:04 and embrace the emerging generation.
15:08 Simply said,
15:10 "Young people today are smarter than we are."
15:15 You don't have to say amen, it's a fact.
15:21 Consider Exhibit A of the incessant
15:25 creative destructive march.
15:28 In February 2004, three young men,
15:31 and I'm going to give their first names.
15:33 One named Eduardo, another named Chris,
15:36 and the third one name Dustin,
15:39 under the guidance
15:40 of a university dropout named Mark
15:44 launched a small startup company
15:46 code named Facebook.
15:50 Beginning in March 2004,
15:54 Facebook journeyed from Harvard, to Stanford,
15:58 to Yale, to Colombia University,
16:01 and finally the Palo Alto, California.
16:05 By December 2004,
16:07 Facebook broke the ceiling with 1 million members.
16:13 By 2005,
16:16 Facebook broke the ceiling with 5 million members.
16:23 In 2006,
16:26 Facebook exploded to 12 million members.
16:31 That's just a year later.
16:33 By 2012,
16:37 Facebook had 36 million members.
16:44 By 2014, they had 360 million members.
16:50 And one year later, they broke a half billion mark
16:53 in June of 2015 with 500 million members.
16:59 That's in June.
17:00 But by December,
17:02 they had added 100 million more,
17:04 as December 2015 came to a close.
17:08 So that I could end the insanity quicker.
17:11 By December...
17:15 By June 2018,
17:19 that's this year,
17:21 Facebook now has 2.23 billion users,
17:26 28.7% of the world's population.
17:30 The question once again is, what are they creating
17:31 and what are they destroying?
17:34 The suggestion is that the more information we get,
17:37 the more intelligent we become.
17:39 But what I'm seeing in the world today
17:41 is the more information we get,
17:43 the more incapacitated we become.
17:45 If the information that's permeating our minds
17:48 is not coming from God's Word,
17:49 we are not becoming more intelligent by design,
17:53 we are becoming more complacent by intent.
17:56 Our world is creating the environment
17:59 to get us to pay less attention to the book,
18:04 and may we pay attention
18:06 or more attention to the Facebook.
18:09 It's in this generation
18:10 that God is saying to the Facebook generation,
18:13 it is time to get back to the real book.
18:15 Can I get an amen?
18:17 God is saying to us
18:20 that it is not more information that we need,
18:22 but it is more transformation that we need.
18:27 But the billion dollar question behind the repetitive behavior
18:31 of this digital revolution was introduced
18:37 by a recalcitrant Pharaoh of Egypt.
18:41 If you have your Bibles, read it with you tonight,
18:43 turn to Exodus Chapter 5.
18:45 Notice the question he posed. Notice the question he posed.
18:54 Exodus 5:2, Pharaoh said,
18:57 "Who is the Lord that I should obey His voice
19:00 to let Israel go?
19:03 I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go."
19:07 Pharaoh answered the question or asked the question,
19:12 "Why should I obey the voice of God
19:14 if I do not know Him?"
19:17 Now follow that very carefully.
19:19 He suggested that if we spend more time
19:23 getting more information about God,
19:25 then we become aware of who He is.
19:27 But in reality,
19:29 Pharaoh cancelled His obedience to God by simply saying,
19:34 "If I knew more about Him,
19:36 it'll be a lot easier for me to obey Him."
19:38 But what I'd like to suggest tonight
19:41 that it is not knowing more about God,
19:44 but knowing God that makes the difference
19:48 between obeying and disobeying God.
19:51 Might I suggest tonight that the text in John 17:3
19:55 is not saying that we should know more
19:57 about God before we get to obey Him,
20:01 but when we obey Him,
20:03 we get to know more about God.
20:07 It is in the obedience
20:08 that the revelation of God is revealed,
20:11 not in the information about God that the revelation
20:14 of the relationship of God is born,
20:16 but it's in the obedience to the voice of God
20:22 that the relationship of God with God is built.
20:26 Go to 1 Samuel 3:8, 9,
20:30 so that I can make my point clear.
20:35 We peek it at the life of a young man,
20:38 a young man by the name of Samuel.
20:41 1 Samuel 3:8, 9,
20:45 As Samuel was taking his evening rest,
20:47 not too far distant from where Eli was resting,
20:51 he continued to hear a voice that he was not familiar with,
20:54 and we pick the story up
20:57 in 1 Samuel 3:8, 9,
21:02 "And the Lord called Samuel again the third time,"
21:05 the what time?
21:07 The third time.
21:09 "So he arose and went to Eli and said,
21:12 'Here I am, for you did call me.'
21:18 Then Eli perceived
21:19 that the Lord had called the boy.
21:22 Therefore Eli said to Samuel,
21:24 'Go lie down, and it shall be,
21:28 if He calls you that you may say,"
21:32 together,
21:33 "speak, Lord, for your servant hears.'
21:37 So Samuel went and laid down in his place.'"
21:41 Ellen White said that Samuel was just the youth,
21:43 and we understand the story.
21:45 He was a boy, the Bible says, he was a boy.
21:46 Even though he was dedicated to the Lord
21:48 when he was just a child,
21:50 God had not yet directly spoken to Samuel,
21:53 so Samuel was not familiar with the voice of God,
21:57 but he was told by the experience
21:58 and the age of Eli that the next time
22:00 you hear the voice of God,
22:01 the next time you hear that voice,
22:03 it's going to be the voice of God,
22:05 simply say, 'Speak, Lord, for your servant heareth."
22:09 But notice carefully what the text is saying.
22:13 He's not saying,
22:15 "Have God give you more information about Himself
22:17 before you say, 'Speak, Lord, for your servant heareth.'"
22:20 He's saying, "As soon as God speaks,
22:25 be obedient to His voice
22:28 that you may get to know who He is."
22:32 It was his immediate obedience to the voice of God
22:36 that created in Samuel the kind of life that he lived.
22:38 And as you follow the life of Samuel,
22:40 he existed from king to king,
22:42 he existed on the platform of stern integrity,
22:46 unshakeable faith,
22:49 because he made the decision to listen to the voice of God
22:54 the moment he heard it,
22:56 not needing any more information about God,
22:58 but simply saying, "Speak, Lord,
23:01 for your servant heareth,"
23:03 which we pick up the story
23:06 to understand the segue.
23:07 He said, "And now the Lord came,
23:09 and stood, and called at other times,
23:12 Samuel, Samuel! And this time Samuel said,
23:16 'Speak, Lord, for your servant hears.'"
23:20 It is in first responding to the voice of God
23:23 that we get to know the character of God.
23:27 Let me say it again.
23:30 It is in responding first, when?
23:34 First to the voice of God
23:37 that we become familiar with the character of God.
23:40 Because really the question is
23:41 why would I listen to the voice of someone that I don't know?
23:47 But I'm suggesting when it comes to God,
23:50 if you listen to the voice of God first,
23:54 then you get to know who God is.
23:57 That's why the Christian walks by faith.`
24:00 We walk not by information, we walk by faith.
24:04 When we walk by faith
24:06 then God sees fit to reveal to us information.
24:12 But if we say like Pharaoh did, I don't know God,
24:14 I don't understand Him,
24:16 I've never heard His voice before,
24:17 therefore I cannot be obedient.
24:18 We are in essence saying,
24:20 obedience is based on an abundance of information.
24:23 But obedience is not based on an abundance of information,
24:26 obedience is based on faith in the voice of God.
24:32 The voice of God today being the Word of God,
24:35 not impressions,
24:37 not somebody else's words about God,
24:40 but simply speaking,
24:42 simply having God speak to us directly,
24:45 and being willing to hear the voice of God.
24:48 In 2 Timothy 3:7, turn in your Bible there.
24:52 You see, the information age has enrolled us
24:54 in an endless pursuit for knowledge,
24:56 but look at the words of the Apostle Paul
24:59 to Young protégé, Timothy.
25:03 He is saying the information age
25:05 tries to convince us
25:06 that the intellectual pursuit is necessary
25:09 before we understand to know God.
25:12 But you look at the life of the disciples,
25:15 they didn't go to institutions of learning,
25:18 they did not have degrees,
25:20 they did not spend time in places
25:23 where training and knowledge was proliferated,
25:27 they spent time in the presence of God
25:30 through Jesus Christ,
25:32 and that's what made the difference
25:34 between information and transformation.
25:39 They were called an ignorant,
25:41 and unlearn, and unintellectual,
25:45 but when they saw the power of God
25:47 through the lives of the disciples,
25:48 they knew that they had been in the presence of Jesus.
25:52 Let me suggest, we have...
25:55 I can't say we have become but we have been for some time,
25:58 our church of higher learning,
26:00 and there is nothing wrong with higher learning.
26:04 But I like to suggest to you, as Jesus said to Martha,
26:09 the best place to be is at the feet of Jesus.
26:13 The place where we are elevated from the common days,
26:16 and the common ways of life to the place
26:18 where we can become an instrument
26:20 in the hand of God
26:22 is when we spend time in the presence of God.
26:25 It is not more information that we need,
26:28 but it's transformation
26:30 that makes the information about God
26:32 a point of growth.
26:34 Notice what the Apostle Paul says
26:35 in 2 Timothy 3:7,
26:37 he says,
26:38 "Ever learning and never able to come
26:42 to the knowledge of the truth."
26:44 So the information age, the digital age,
26:48 that's a tongue twisting word, the digital age,
26:52 is not an age that brings to us
26:54 more information about God,
26:56 but it's a creative destructive age
26:59 attempting to take away the information
27:01 that God has already made known to us
27:04 because I would say to you that if all the electricity
27:07 in the world had gone off for two weeks,
27:15 all the communication devices had ceased to operate,
27:21 and the internet was nonexistent,
27:25 the generation I was born for the last 24 years
27:29 would end into pandemonium and chaos
27:33 But those of us that have gray hair
27:36 would simply pick up our Bible and say,
27:37 "Speak, Lord, for thou server heareth."
27:41 Amen.
27:43 I think that we need to have a blackout
27:46 to find the light again.
27:50 I think that we need to get these smart devices
27:53 to stop working,
27:54 so that our minds could start working.
28:00 I think we need to trust less in what man is showing us,
28:04 and what God has already shown us,
28:07 so that we can come back to center stage
28:09 in getting to know God.
28:11 It's amazing what Paul continues to say because, Paul,
28:15 when he went to Rome,
28:17 he entered into a philosophical society
28:19 that was highly intellectual.
28:21 When he exposed himself to the Greeks,
28:23 he exposed himself to men of deep learning,
28:28 men of experience, men of great minds of science,
28:32 and psychology, and great arguments,
28:36 and he had very little success.
28:38 When he got to Rome,
28:39 he changed his approach to intellectual stimulation,
28:43 and he said, "I desire to know nothing,
28:45 but Christ and Him crucified."
28:49 And then the gospel in the Book of Romans
28:52 became one of the most beautifully proclaimed
28:56 and powerful messages of the age.
28:58 To this very day, my favorite book in the Bible
29:00 is the Book of Romans.
29:02 Because Paul began Romans by saying,
29:04 "You keep your philosophy, you keep your intellect,
29:07 just give me God, and that's all I need."
29:11 "I desire to know nothing, but Christ and Him crucified."
29:14 You see, if all we have is God, the only one we need is God.
29:21 That's what He said to Jeremiah,
29:23 "You will seek Me, and you will find Me,
29:27 when you search for me with," how much?
29:30 "All your heart."
29:31 Jeremiah 29:13, Paul said to the Romans,
29:36 as intellectual as they were, "There is none who understands,
29:42 there is none who seeks after God."
29:44 This is the age,
29:46 and I'm watching it from an American standpoint,
29:49 but I've understood that here in Australia
29:51 it's just about the same.
29:53 You know, one of the first things
29:54 we do when we get off a plane
29:56 is we try to find ways to connect.
30:00 You know, we bring off our smartphones from America,
30:04 and it just becomes kind of disheartening
30:08 when you get off the plane and you can't connect.
30:12 Anybody know what I'm talking about?
30:15 But go back about 30 years.
30:17 Sorry, go back about 40 years,
30:20 when if you were disembarked from a plane,
30:25 you didn't think about connecting,
30:27 you just want to get in your car and drive home.
30:30 And all we got to do nowadays to be abnormal
30:34 is to have a Bible and no device.
30:42 All we've got to do nowadays to connect to God
30:45 is to disconnect from the world.
30:49 All we've got to do today
30:51 as one young man said to his father and mother
30:56 because when they had the lights on
30:57 the electricity was working, the daughter was in her room,
31:00 the son was in his room, the mother was on the couch,
31:04 and the dad was in his, in his man cave,
31:08 and they were all connected to some kind of device.
31:12 When the power went off, and it didn't come back on
31:14 in the next two minutes, his son ran down
31:16 the steps and says, "Mom, Dad, what do we do?"
31:20 And they said, "Let's get to know each other."
31:24 And for the next three days,
31:27 all they did was look each other in the face,
31:32 and talk to one another.
31:35 And after three days when the power came back on,
31:39 the son discovered the parents that he had never known
31:43 because prior to that,
31:46 he thought that information on a cell phone,
31:50 on the internet, on the television
31:53 would enhance his life.
31:55 But the only information that we need today
31:57 to enhance our lives
31:59 is the information found in the Word of God.
32:02 You see, what is happening in our world today
32:04 is Satan is seeking to accomplish
32:07 among the Israel of the last days
32:10 that which he accomplished
32:11 among the Israelites of the early days.
32:14 In the book, Acts of the Apostles,
32:17 Ellen White said on page 13 that,
32:22 "God chose Israel to reveal His character to men.
32:27 He desired them to be as wells of salvation
32:30 in the world.
32:32 To them were committed the oracles of heaven,
32:34 the revelation of God's will.
32:37 In the early days of Israel, the nation of the world,
32:42 through their corrupt practices had lost the knowledge of God."
32:46 The nations that surrounded Israel
32:49 so had permeated Israel's mindset
32:51 that the message to which God had entrusted them,
32:54 the message that He had entrusted to them
32:57 had lost its power
33:00 because they chose not to hear the voice of God,
33:03 they chose not to receive the revelation of God.
33:05 In Romans 1:21 says it this way.
33:09 He says, "Although they knew God,
33:10 they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful,
33:14 but became vain in their imaginations,
33:16 and their foolish hearts were darkened."
33:20 And so I'm going to say this because this is not true,
33:25 but if I were the devil.
33:30 And you smile because you know, it's not true, praise God.
33:34 But if I were the devil,
33:36 and I knew that the message that God has given to us
33:39 is the message that will prepare the world
33:42 for His second coming,
33:43 I would create
33:45 every possible diversion that I can
33:49 to get a people with the message
33:53 to not share the message
33:55 or not to even express interest in the message.
34:00 And they would cancel that interest by saying,
34:04 "If I only had more information about the message,
34:09 then I'd be able to share it."
34:11 And today, our church
34:16 is locked in a pursuit
34:19 of the wrong kind of information.
34:22 And I would suggest to you that we simply get back
34:28 to the business that God has called us to,
34:31 proclaiming the threes angels' messages
34:35 that there will be such a unity in God's Church,
34:39 not new information, not new technology,
34:44 but the everlasting gospel.
34:45 Can you say amen?
34:47 The gospel from the Garden of Eden,
34:49 the gospel from the Mount of Sinai,
34:52 the gospel from the wilderness journey
34:55 of the Israelites, it's the same gospel.
34:57 There's salvation in only one person,
34:59 His name is Jesus.
35:00 If we would get back
35:02 to the proclamation of that gospel,
35:04 I believe the world will be warned,
35:07 and Jesus would come.
35:09 I mean, can you imagine?
35:10 Think about the whole context,
35:12 the Lord turned the world upside down in just a short,
35:16 about 34 years
35:18 through the lives of just 12 disciples.
35:23 If the Lord can turn the world upside down
35:26 and reach the ends of the earth through a small handful of men
35:30 filled by the power of God,
35:32 what will He be able to do if the church get back,
35:37 if the church gets back
35:39 to the message that God has given us
35:42 for the last 135 years?
35:47 But here we are,
35:51 and don't misunderstand me because I am writing a book.
35:56 But the last thing we need is another book.
36:00 But when it come out, I hope you buy it.
36:04 All the information necessary for salvation
36:07 can be found between the heirs
36:10 of Genesis and Revelation.
36:15 If we would simply get back to this age,
36:19 to the age of turning pages,
36:23 to the age of spending time in the Word of God,
36:28 to the age of beginning our day and ending our day
36:31 in the presence of God, at the feet of Jesus.
36:37 If we would get back to the devotional life
36:40 of living our lives in the presence of a holy God,
36:46 if we would pray more
36:49 and work for the advancement of God's kingdom,
36:53 there will be no more information
36:54 that we would need,
36:56 but it will be transformation that we would experience
37:00 My wife and I, over the last couple of years
37:04 have prayed for God to transform our lives.
37:07 And he has done it
37:09 in a powerful and a very real way.
37:14 We begin our day in prayer, and the study of His Word,
37:19 we end our day in prayer or devotional thought,
37:21 and the study of God's Word.
37:23 We travel and we carry our Bibles with us.
37:26 Whenever I travel, I have three.
37:29 I have...
37:30 My travel itinerary
37:31 has three very important components.
37:35 My wife...
37:41 I should put it in the order of priority.
37:44 My God, my wife, and my Bible.
37:54 And I've learned that when I carry my God,
37:58 my wife, and my Bible,
38:03 I really don't care
38:07 what's happening in the world around me.
38:11 I was invited to South Africa a number of years ago,
38:17 and only one ticket was being purchased for my
38:20 attending this large camp meeting,
38:23 I was going to be the speaker there,
38:26 and they said,
38:27 "We're looking forward to you coming,"
38:29 and I said, "Can you purchase the ticket
38:32 for my wife to be there?"
38:33 They said, "We can't afford it."
38:36 I said, "How many people am I going to be speaking to?"
38:38 They said about 9,000.
38:40 I said, "You mean to tell me that 9,000 people
38:42 can't afford one more ticket?
38:44 They said, "No, it's not in our budget."
38:46 I said, "Then cancel me."
38:50 They said, "But you're in the advertising."
38:53 I said, "Well, I'll come
38:55 if you pay for my wife to go with me.
38:58 'Cause I have my Bible, I have my God,
39:00 but that's only two items in my itinerary,
39:03 I need all three.
39:04 Come on, married people, say, amen.
39:08 So I ran into a very strong South African lady,
39:14 who had every answer to every argument
39:17 that I raised until I said to her,
39:21 "I'm not coming unless you buy a ticket for my wife."
39:26 She asked me the question, she said,
39:28 "So if you bring your wife with you,
39:30 what is she going to do?"
39:32 I said, "She's going to be my wife."
39:37 'Cause after I'm done talking to you,
39:39 I need to go back home and balance myself.
39:43 Because it is not what happens
39:45 in the public arena that creates us,
39:49 but it's what happens in the quiet moments
39:52 when the lights are off, when the music is not playing,
39:59 and when nobody is paying attention
40:01 to my voice except my God,
40:06 and my wife,
40:08 and I'm listening to God's voice,
40:11 and I'm listening to the my wife's voice.
40:14 And it's so good to know that
40:15 because of her relationship with God,
40:17 there's no conflict there.
40:25 Isaiah 30:21,
40:30 "The foundation
40:33 of being able to reveal the character of God."
40:40 Let me preface it by saying
40:42 it's responding to God's voice first
40:44 that we become familiar with the character of God.
40:49 Your ears shout, Isaiah 30:21,
40:53 "Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying,
40:59 'This is the way, do," what?
41:02 "Walk ye in it.'"
41:03 Whenever you turn to the right hand
41:06 or whenever you turn to the left,
41:09 and in Christ's Object Lessons, page 289,
41:12 servant of the Lord says,
41:14 "As an obedience to His natural laws,
41:18 the earth produces its treasures.
41:21 And so also in obedience to God's moral laws,
41:26 the heart of the people of God
41:30 are to reflect the attributes of His character.
41:35 Listen carefully to that.
41:37 The earth listens to the voice of God,
41:40 obedient to the laws that God put in place,
41:43 and it produces a harvest.
41:46 If we would listen to the voice of God,
41:50 the very revelation of the character of God
41:54 would be revealed to the world
41:55 because I've learned in my studies,
41:57 and this is why the Lord continually said to the Jews
42:00 when they asked for a sign,
42:01 when Moses asked, "Show me Your glory."
42:03 One of the reasons why the Lord
42:05 did not show any of them His glory
42:08 is because the glory of God is not to be revealed to us,
42:12 the glory of God is to be revealed through us.
42:18 That's why the Lord said to His disciples,
42:20 "Have I been with you so long
42:22 that you have not seen the Father."
42:23 Jesus came to be the express revelation of the character
42:26 and the person of God, but Jesus is not here.
42:30 And then He said,
42:31 "A greater works than these you'll do."
42:33 Now here's what He meant.
42:35 And I'm learning this.
42:36 After 31 years of pastoring and preaching,
42:38 I'm learning this in a more beautiful way.
42:41 He's in essence saying,
42:43 "The more you get to know Me by obeying My voice..."
42:48 I'm not speaking about information,
42:50 I'm speaking about transformation.
42:52 "The more you are willing to be obedient to My voice,
42:55 the more equipped you would be to reveal to the world
42:58 that character that I possess."
43:02 God is not wanting to reveal to the world information,
43:05 He's wanting to reveal to the world transformation
43:08 through the lives of those who have come in contact
43:11 with the only one
43:13 that can cause the light of His glory
43:16 to shine to the world.
43:17 That's why Jesus said,
43:18 "Let your light so shine before men,
43:20 that they may see your
43:23 good works and glorify Your Father,
43:25 which is in heaven."
43:27 When Jesus came, the Father was hid in His Son.
43:32 And so also the character of God
43:36 was revealed through His Son.
43:38 Servant of the Lord says,
43:39 "As the character of God was revealed through
43:43 the life of His Son,
43:45 so also the character of God is to be revealed
43:49 through the life of His people."
43:52 So this idea of knowing God by His character.
43:57 He's not asking God to reveal to us His character,
44:01 but asking God to reveal to the world
44:03 His character through us,
44:08 which brings me to my second and last point,
44:11 we get to reveal the character of God by first,
44:15 allowing His glory to be revealed through us.
44:18 Exodus 3:2 is where you're turning.
44:22 Exodus 3:2,
44:37 "And the angel of the Lord appeared to Him
44:40 in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush.
44:46 So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire,
44:49 but the bush was not consumed."
44:52 When you look at the story,
44:54 Moses was arrested by an unusual spectacle.
44:58 The burning of the bush was not what captured his attention?
45:01 What captured Moses' attention was the phenomena
45:04 that the bush was burning, but the bush was not consumed.
45:10 Some writers suggest that the bush
45:12 was not really burning,
45:14 but that it was the angle of the sun reflecting off
45:16 the odd leaves of the bush,
45:18 but I don't believe that theory.
45:20 I believe that God can make any tree burn
45:23 without being consumed.
45:24 Come on, somebody say amen.
45:26 And you'll understand in just a moment
45:27 why I say that.
45:29 You see, the burning bush
45:30 was an antitypical representation
45:31 of the character of God.
45:33 And Moses only got a glimpse of that,
45:35 and just a light glimpse
45:38 of the glory of God revealed on that mountain,
45:40 when God said to Moses, "Hide in the cleft of the rock,
45:43 and when I pass by, just peek."
45:46 And the peeking...
45:49 Oh, if we can see the glory of God,
45:50 just the peek, he peeked,
45:53 and God revealed just enough for Moses
45:56 to know that He is God,
45:57 and the glory was so abundant that when he came down,
46:03 he had his own personal shades,
46:08 so that His glory could be peeked.
46:12 Now follow this carefully.
46:15 When Moses got a glimpse of God's glory,
46:19 the glory of God was transferred to Moses.
46:24 When we are given a glimpse
46:28 of God's glory in our daily lives,
46:33 there's a transformation that takes place,
46:35 not an abundant insertion of information,
46:39 but a transforming power that can only come
46:44 when we are in the very presence of God.
46:48 And I would like to suggest to you
46:50 that the presence of God is revealed
46:52 in the written word of God,
46:55 a book that needs to be in our presence
46:57 more than it really is.
47:01 The unattractive nature of the bush
47:04 was a forecast of how God
47:06 will be revealed through Christ.
47:08 But look at verse 3, 4.
47:11 Because when Moses began to investigate the bush,
47:15 the bush began to investigate Moses.
47:18 "Then Moses said, 'I will now turn aside
47:20 and see this great site, why the bush does not burn?'
47:26 So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look,
47:29 God called to him from the midst of the bush
47:32 and said, 'Moses, Moses,' and he said, 'Here I am.'"
47:35 When Moses began to investigate the bush,
47:39 the bush began to investigate Moses.
47:44 Now what does it have to do with the character of God?
47:49 And as I close, I don't see a clock.
47:51 Okay, great.
47:52 As I close, the clock just appeared.
48:00 Thank you for the clock.
48:04 As I close, I want you to absorb this
48:07 'cause I'm going to unpack it
48:08 in the next nine minutes that I have.
48:13 It was from a seemingly worthless bush
48:20 that Moses was reminded
48:22 that he was in the presence of Almighty God,
48:27 and that brief revelation did not inform Moses,
48:32 but it transformed Moses.
48:36 So I'll throw some questions into the pot
48:40 that I'll pose in just a moment.
48:45 The experience of the bush was anything but simple.
48:49 What happened to the bush?
48:51 It was anything, but homely.
48:54 And what was reflected through the bush
48:55 was anything but common place.
48:58 Because that day
48:59 the most powerful revelation of God's character
49:02 was revealed in the message of the burning bush.
49:06 But the question I pose to you tonight
49:07 because we are the ones that are called
49:10 to reveal to the world the character of God,
49:13 and the question is how we're going to do that?
49:15 How could a God, that is so profound,
49:17 choose a bush that is so common?
49:22 How could a God, that is so abundant,
49:23 select the bush that is so barren?
49:27 How could the inadequate reflect the divine?
49:33 And how could the homely reveal the heavenly?
49:37 I had to grapple with those questions.
49:39 Before I post them to you,
49:41 I had to grapple with them in my life.
49:42 And I came to discover
49:44 that the story of your life and mine
49:47 is not what we know,
49:51 but it's who we know.
49:54 The power of the ministry to which we are called
49:58 is not in our information,
50:02 but it is in our transformation.
50:05 And only as we are transformed can we understand
50:09 that God uses the mundane to reveal the miraculous.
50:14 God uses the common to reveal His character.
50:18 God uses those things that seemed to have no value
50:22 to expose and reveal to the world infinite value.
50:26 Let me make my point, go to 1 Corinthians 1:27-29.
50:31 Here it is, I entered into evidence,
50:33 the words of the Apostle Paul.
50:35 Notice what he says, 1 Corinthians 1:27-29,
50:47 "But God has chosen the," what kind of things, friends?
50:52 "The foolish things of the world
50:55 to put to shame the wise."
50:57 When I read that, I realized I do did not know
51:00 that the Apostle Paul said anything about me,
51:04 until I read that.
51:07 Because I grew up, I was very foolish.
51:11 And, well, I want to insert you into my story,
51:16 but I would like to suggest you that we all at one time
51:19 or another did foolish things.
51:20 Come on, say, amen.
51:22 "But God in His mercy chose the foolish things of the world
51:26 to put to shame the wise," the burning bush,
51:29 "and God has chosen the weak things of the world
51:32 to put to shame the things which are mighty,"
51:34 the burning bush,
51:36 "and the base things of the world,
51:40 and the things which are despised,
51:42 God has chosen.
51:43 And the things which are not to bring to nothing,
51:47 the things that are,
51:49 and that no flesh should glory in His presence."
51:53 You see the glory of God,
51:55 the character of God was revealed
51:59 through the burning bush.
52:02 After 31 years of marriage, after 31 years of ministry,
52:07 and 35 years of marriage,
52:10 I'm coming to discover that when God found
52:14 my wife and I in New York City as young teenagers,
52:20 that He was choosing
52:21 the foolish things of the world,
52:23 the weak things of the world,
52:26 the base things of the world,
52:32 the things which are despised,
52:38 so that I would never use
52:44 His gifts
52:47 to rob Him of His glory.
52:52 And so when we travel and come to places like Australia,
52:56 and wherever else God sends us,
53:00 we sometimes come with the humble recognition
53:02 that there's something about us that must make us special.
53:07 I want to tell you tonight...
53:12 I'm simply a burning bush.
53:16 And only by God's grace, have I not yet been consumed.
53:21 But there's a reason for that
53:23 because God has chosen this bush
53:27 not to burn for my glory,
53:31 but to burn for His glory.
53:36 When the Lord appeared to Moses in that burning bush,
53:40 the bush was burning with fire,
53:42 but the bush was not consumed.
53:47 How will the Lord appear
53:48 to the world except He lights a fire in us?
53:52 How will the character of God be revealed to the world
53:57 except the character of God will be revealed to the world
54:00 through us.
54:02 He's just saying amen, don't pay any attention to him.
54:06 I wish I got some amens from you.
54:12 How will they see the character of God
54:16 except it is reflected through us?
54:20 How will they hear the salvation,
54:22 and the message of God, except they hear it through us.
54:27 But our pitfall is to think that we were chosen
54:31 because we were special.
54:33 But the reality is,
54:35 we became special after we were chosen.
54:40 When Jesus found me, I was a dried up bush,
54:43 no glory to speak of, no fruit to brag of.
54:47 But only Jesus can turn a barren bush
54:51 into a fruitful tree.
54:52 Come on, say amen.
54:54 In the ministry we get caught up in
54:56 and try to be so many things to so many people,
54:59 now I just want to be a burning bush.
55:02 That's all I want to be, a burning bush.
55:04 Come on, burning bushes, say amen.
55:06 I don't want to be a bush.
55:07 I don't want to have a whole lot of leaves,
55:09 I don't want to be pretty,
55:10 I just want to be a burning bush.
55:12 I just want the glory of God in somehow to be revealed
55:16 through this mediocre mundane frame,
55:21 so that when my name is forgotten,
55:24 the glory of God and the character of God
55:27 will be remembered.
55:29 I spent so many years trying to avoid the flame
55:32 until I read this story about the burning bush.
55:37 I finally realized that
55:40 we are called to embrace the fire,
55:42 so that the character of God
55:44 could burn away anything that is not about Him,
55:48 so that the world can finally see
55:50 the character of God that is Him.
55:54 The fire refines us,
55:58 and consumes whatever does not reflect
56:00 the character of God.
56:02 And, friends, I say in closing,
56:05 Jesus did not come to burn us up,
56:08 He came to light us up.
56:11 He did not come to consume us, He came to ignite us.
56:17 So why is the character of God so vitally important?
56:20 If you spend all your time receiving your information
56:22 from a digital device,
56:24 except you're reading your Bible through it
56:27 or maybe reading the writings of the servant of the Lord,
56:31 you'll never get the ammunition you need to reflect
56:34 the most beautiful character that is the glory of God.
56:37 The servant of the Lord says in Christ's Object Lessons,
56:39 page 67, "Christ is waiting and longing.
56:42 Christ is waiting with a longing desire
56:45 for the manifestation of Himself and His church.
56:49 And when the character of Christ
56:51 shall be perfectly reproduced in His people,
56:55 then He will come to claim them as His own.
56:58 If you want the character of God
57:00 to be revealed in your life,
57:02 pray for your life to become
57:04 nothing but a burning bush to the glory of God.
57:08 Let us pray.
57:13 Father in heaven,
57:14 consume us
57:16 that the glory of God may be seen through us.
57:20 In Jesus' name I pray, amen.


Revised 2019-02-04