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Character development is said to be the most important work ever entrusted to human beings. During the next hour we will explore both our privilege and our responsibility to become Christ-like in character. Join us now for this powerful time of personal renewal as Pastor Stephen Wallace takes us “From Glory to Glory.”

Welcome back, friends. I appreciate your choosing to stay by and continue in our diligent study of the most important work ever entrusted to human beings. And what is that? Character building… character building. We have been considering together the marvelous purpose of God in our creation. And what was that? Isaiah 43:7. What does He say of the human race? “Whom I have created for My glory. I have formed him. Yes, I have made him.” Are we the product of time and chance? Oh no, no, no. We are the handiwork of a personal Creator God, who made us for a high and holy purpose; and that is to reveal what He Himself is like before the on-looking universe. To this end, He made us how? In His image, according to His likeness {Gen 1:26}; and how comprehensive was that likeness? It comprehended, it included every dimension of our being: spiritual, mental, physical, and even, what? …social. We bore a likeness to God in every dimension of our being, so that in every dimension of our being, we could say true and beautiful things regarding how beautiful a Creator we have. And in order to fulfill that destiny, He not only gave us a full complement of God like faculties, but He proceeded to write upon every nerve, every fiber, every faculty, His, what? His law. So, that we were naturally inclined to exercise, and mature, and develop, all of those faculties in perfect harmony with His law; which is the transcript of His character {COL 305.3}, which is His… glory.

Had we remained loyal, we would’ve had unlimited potential to soar through the ceaseless ages of eternity from glory to glory. That’s what God intended. But… there was a tragic interruption in God’s plans, wasn’t there? …and that’s the bad news we have to turn our attention to now. The title of our study, what is it? “All Come Short of the Glory.” {Rom 3:23} Spiritual things are only, what? …spiritually discerned {1 Cor 2:14}; and this tragic interruption called sin, is first, and foremost, a spiritual problem. My dear friends, we need to have spiritual discernment in order to understand the problem; and we’ve got to understand the problem, before we are in a position to appreciate the solution. Are you following this? So God help us understand the problem that we might better appreciate and more eagerly accept, and intelligently cooperate with the solution. I am going to invite you, as is our practice, to spend a few moments on your knees with me, and personally invite God’s Spirit into your heart; and please don’t forget me, as you pray for yourself.

Father in Heaven, thank you so much for the opportunity to gather once again, for the purpose of studying Your Word. But Father we each one acknowledge, that we don’t have what it takes to rightly understand the Word, to rightly appreciate it, and rightly relate to it. We’ve got to have help. Spiritual things are only spiritually discerned. We are so grateful that that help is available in the person, and by the power of Your Spirit. We ask for that Spirit to be poured out upon us. Please, I especially need that Spirit just now. I pray that You would guide and direct my thoughts, and enable me to speak the truth and only the truth, the truth as it is in Jesus. Take possession of my tongue. Don’t let me say anything that would misrepresent the truth… …and oh, how I wish that I had better… language than the human language to express truth… That I’d had better thoughts than human thoughts to comprehend truth. But Father, in spite of the inadequacy of human thought and language, please, work a miracle, and let me lift up Jesus. He is the Truth. And I claim His promise: “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all unto Me.” Father, part of lifting up Jesus, is coming to recognize how desperately we need Him; and that’s what we need to do right now. We need to better understand our sin-problem, so that we will more fully appreciate our sin-solution. Jesus is our sin-solution. But help us to realize how desperately we need Him on account of the fall. Guide and direct us in this study. Please, grant this prayer, for I ask it in Jesus’ name. Amen.

We are on page 11. By the way, when you come Sunday night, we will have a new installment of printout references for you; and I hope you are filling the column here with notes. That’s why we gave you a hard cover, so that it would support your writing. I want to just read once again that remarkable statement regarding God’s ordained destiny for the human race, and then I want to follow it by the next paragraph. Education page 15: “When Adam came from the Creator’s hand, he bore in his physical, mental and spiritual nature a likeness to his Maker. ‘God created man in His own image’ {Gen 1:27}, and it was His purpose that the longer man lived, the more fully he should reveal this image- the more fully reflect the glory of the Creator. All his faculties were capable of development. Their capacity and vigor were continually to increase…” Wow! “Had he remained loyal to God…” “Had he remain loyal to God… More and more fully would he have fulfilled the object of His creation, more and more fully have reflected the Creator’s glory.” You see, to reflect the Creator’s glory was the object of His creation. “Whom I have created for My glory.” {Is 43:7} That was what God intended for the race. But now listen to the next paragraph. It follows immediately, and here comes the tragic interruption. Here comes the bad news. But, but… “But by disobedience this was forfeited. Through sin the divine likeness was marred and well nigh obliterated. Man’s physical powers were weakened, his mental capacity lessened, his spiritual vision dimmed. He became subject to death.” Indeed, the wages of sin is death. {Rom 6:23}

But please notice, what did sin do? It not only caused man to die, it caused him to forfeit his marvelous, God-ordained destiny, to reveal glory to His Creator… to reveal the glory of His Creator. Question: Why is that the case? What is it about sin that so totally incapacitated man to fulfill his destiny… to reveal God’s glory? Well, what is sin? The classic definition, 1 John 3:4: “Sin is the transgression of the law.” But what is the law? The transcript of God’s character, which is His what? …glory. Do you see now how Paul has brought the terrible cause and the inevitable effect together, so succinctly in that verse, found in Romans 3:23? “For all have sinned and come short of the glory.” Do you see the linkage there? Do you see the cause-effect relationships there? What is sin? Transgression of the law. What is the law? The transcript of God’s character. {COL 305.3} What is God’s character? His glory. Therefore if you sin, you’re inevitably are going to, what? …fall short of the glory. {Rom 3:23} You’re going to fail to realize your God-ordained destiny; and that my friends, is what happened when man sinned, …when Adam sinned.

Now, what I want to do with you in this next study, is to consider precisely what happened to mankind when Adam sinned. Now. I want you to recognize, to start with, that what happened to Adam, happened to us. Please, know that. You see, that’s hard for us to understand as we ought, because we… we have in our western culture a very individualistic philosophy of life. Each of us are islands, and we think of ourselves as not being all that much affected by others; particularly those who lived a long time ago. But my dear friends, please know, that that is not a Biblical concept of man. The Bible sees us as corporate, not as individuals; and to help us understand the corporate nature of the human race, please recognize that the name the Bible gives to the first man, …is what? …Adam. But what does Adam mean in the Hebrew language? Mankind. Did you know that? That actual name in Hebrew, means “mankind;” and most of the time when, you come across the Hebrew word “Adam,” it’s translated “man” because it’s recognized that it’s in reference to all men. But sometimes in Genesis, it’s translated “Adam” because they’re trying to distinguish, that in this case, it refers to the name of this first man, called Adam. But my friends, please understand, that what happened to Adam, happened to us. We were all in him. We were in his loins, to use a Biblical term. We were comprehended and constituted, both legally and genetically in him. Did you catch that? We were comprehended and constituted, both legally and genetically in him. Why? Because he was the representative of the whole race, and he was the father of the whole race. {PP 48.1} Are you with me?

As the legal representative of the whole race, he was in a position to determine the legal standing of all the human race; and he did. As the father of the human race, he was in a position to set the genetic code for the whole race. He was given, after all, the capacity to procreate, how? How? In his own image, and by the way, that was part of his likeness to God. God can create in His image. Therefore, if we are like God, we need to be able to at least procreate in our image. Do you see that? …and by the way, this is what distinguishes us from the angelic hosts – who bear the image of God – but not in this capacity; they are not able to procreate like we can. This is part of our being, a new and distinct order of being. {1BC 1081.3} But please understand that the remarkable God-given capacity to procreate in his own image, put a very solemn and heavy responsibility on Adam’s shoulders. Because he, by the law of heredity, was to determine the inheritance of all his posterity, including everyone seated here this afternoon, 6000 plus years later. And who do you suppose knew that? Satan. That’s why he was so eager to mess up Adam. Because he knew that if he could get Adam rebellious in his heart he could get all of his descendents naturally rebellious in their hearts as well. The stakes were high… the stakes were high.

Scripture puts this truth remarkably in Romans 5:19. Let me just jump ahead with you, it’s on page 12, second one down. It says, “For by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.” Who’s that one man that Paul is talking about? It’s Adam of Eden. Who’s the many that were made sinners by his disobedience? Who’s the many? It’s everyone of us that are his by natural descent, by natural birth. Are you following this? That’s all of his descendents. By one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners. Please notice Paul doesn’t say by each man’s disobedience we are made sinners. Does he? By one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, my friends. That’s biblical. I’m not making this up, I’m just quoting Paul; and by the way, what does human nature want to do at this point? That’s not fair. I object. It’s not fair, that I am made a sinner on account of what someone else did, 6,000 years ago. I resent that… Oh, wait a minute… be careful, be careful. What does the text go on to say? It’s not written down, but it’s in the Bible. It’s not written down in your printout, but it’s in the Bible: “For by one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners so also by the obedience of One the many will be made righteous.” That’s not… fair… I don’t want to complain about that half. Do you? No, I don’t want to complain about that half. But my dear friends, please understand that if you’re going to be consistent, if you complain about the fact that by one man’s disobedience you’ve been made a sinner; you have got to also complain about the fact, that by one man’s obedience you will be made righteous. Do you see the reasoning there? It’s pretty clear cut. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to complain about the second half.

You see, I don’t have an obedience that is sufficient to make me righteous, in the sight of God. I need somebody else’s to make me righteous. Are any of you with me? {Amen} Then praise God, there is One who has a righteousness that will make me righteous, in the sight of God; and that is Jesus Christ… the Lord my Righteousness. {Amen} The second Adam. But my dear friends, just as it is on account of the first Adam’s disobedience that we are made sinners, so it is also on account of the second Adam’s obedience, that we are made righteous. You see there are really only two men in the human race. There are only two. Adam of Eden, and Adam of Gethsemane, better known as Jesus Christ. Are you with me? The first, and the last Adam. There are only two men, and every single one of us, are constituted and comprehended in one or the other. All of us by natural birth are constituted in whose race? Adam of Eden, and as such we’ve been made sinners. We are under condemnation and a death sentence, on account of something he did 6,000 years ago. Are you willing to accept that? Now you had no choice in that matter did you? Did you choose to be born in a selfish, rebellious, death-doomed, death-sentenced race? Did you choose that? No, you didn’t. You have no choice there. But praise God, you can choose to be born again. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen}

Why? Because there is a second Adam, who has come at infinite cost, to begin, and be, the Head of a new race; and by faith in Him, you can be born again. Amen? {Amen} …and then, you receive the benefits of His obedience, and you receive from Him a spiritual inheritance. On account of the first Adam’s disobedience, we receive condemnation and a selfish, rebellious heart. On account of the second Adam’s obedience, we receive justification and a love-motivated heart that can live in harmony with our Creator, Redeemer once again. No choice regarding your natural birth. But every one of you can choose to be born again. Now, with that in mind, you must understand that what happened to Adam 6,000 years ago in the Garden of Eden happened to, who? It happened to us. What happened to Adam 6,000 years ago? Bottom of page 11. Steps to Christ, page 17. Listen closely. Steps to Christ, page 17: “Man was originally endowed with noble powers and a well balanced mind. He was perfect in his being and in harmony with God. His thoughts were pure, his aims holy. But…” Oh there’s that miserable little word again. “But through disobedience,” what happened? Listen closely: “His powers were perverted and…,” what else? “…selfishness took the place of love.” Profoundly significant theological insight there, my dear friends. Please, think on this with me. What happened when Adam sinned? Remember when Adam sinned, mankind sinned. Adam was mankind. We all went down in, and with him, every one of us. What happened to every one of us, when Adam sinned? Selfishness took the place of love, and all of our powers were, what? …perverted.

Now, work with me on this… understand this. Please understand this. When we say that selfishness took the place of love, what are we saying? Well let’s first ask ourselves, what was the place of love in man’s nature before the fall? We’ve got to know that, before we can understand what is meant by “selfishness took the place of love.” What was the place of love in man’s nature before the fall? It was the governing principle, the spirit, the law that was written not upon only the fleshly table of man’s heart, but upon every, what? …every nerve, every fiber, every faculty of his being. It was the law, the spirit, the principle that governed his whole nature. That’s what the place of love was. Are you with me?

When man sinned, what happened? Come on, what happened? Selfishness took the place of love. Whose law, whose spirit, whose principle is selfishness? Satan’s law, Satan’s spirit, the principle that governs Satan’s kingdom. When man sinned, when Adam sinned, selfishness took the place of love. Selfishness became the law that governed human nature. Selfishness became the law that was written upon the fleshly tables of the man’s heart. Selfishness became the law that was written upon every nerve, every fiber, every faculty of our being. And by the way, when we say selfishness took the place of love, are we talking about just one of many sins? Is selfishness just one of many sins? Don’t miss this… please, don’t miss this. Listen. Testimonies, Volume 4, page 384: “Under the heading of selfishness came every other sin.” Is selfishness just one of many sins? No, it is the principle that comprehends all sin. Are you understanding this? Follow: Precisely as love is to obedience, selfishness is to disobedience. Does that make sense? Precisely as love is the fulfilling of the law, selfishness is the transgressing of the law. Under the heading of selfishness comes every other sin, my dear friends. This is not one of many, this is the principle that comprehends all sin; and this principle at the fall, took the place of love in human nature. It became the dominant, motivating principle, written upon the fleshly tables of man’s heart, written upon every nerve, every fiber, every faculty of his being. No wonder, all his powers were perverted!

That’s the other thing that happened, remember? His powers were perverted and selfishness took the place of love. You see when man’s heart was governed by the law of love, all of man’s faculties were exercised exclusively to gratify and glorify, who? …God! Amen? But when selfishness took the place of love, what happened? All of those powers were perverted; and now after the fall, all of man’s faculties are exercised to gratify and glorify, who? …self… self. That is the moral derangement that we call depravity; and inspiration, by the way, defines depravity as “moral derangement.” {Mar 153.4} She also tells us, that selfishness is the essence of depravity. {ST, Dec 25, 1901 par. 9} Selfishness is what? …the essence of depravity. When selfishness took the place of love, man by nature became depraved. There was a moral derangement at the core of his being, and everything that was God-like was adversely, and terribly affected. This is why inspiration says, “The image of God was marred and well nigh obliterated.” {PP 595.2} …well nigh obliterated. All of those God-like faculties that glorified God, because they were governed by love, now, glorify who? Self and Satan, because they are governed by selfishness. Do you understand, how radically we were affected by the fall? My dear friends, you’ve got to understand this. This is crucial to understand.

Now, please understand, that by the law of heredity, this terrible moral derangement called depravity – this selfishness – was passed on as a birthright, to Adam’s descendants. Turn with me to Genesis, chapter 5. Now, you have the excerpt there in your printout, but I want you to see it in a little larger context. So, turn with me to Genesis, chapter 5, and note these remarkable words. Genesis 5:1: “This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of,” who? “…of God.” Verse 2: “He created them male and female and blessed them and called them,” what? “…mankind” Do you know, what the Hebrew is there? It’s Adam; yes, it’s Adam. Look it up… Called them Adam… same word. The Hebrews had a tremendous advantage in this same word, to think corporately. You see, when the Bible told them that Adam sinned, they knew that they sinned. Mankind sinned… by virtue of the same name. “He created them male and female, and blessed them and called them mankind in the day they were created.” Look at verse 3: “And Adam lived 130 years, and begot a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.” Now please notice: Adam was created in the image and likeness of God, but Seth, was in the image and likeness of Adam. But follow; between Adam’s creation in God’s likeness, and Seth’s procreation in Adam’s likeness, what had happened? Sin had happened. Man had become selfish… by nature. So, how was his son born? Selfish by nature… …selfish by nature. Patriarchs and Prophets, page 80: “While Adam was created sinless in the likeness of God, Seth, like Cain inherited the fallen nature of his parents.” He what? …he inherited the fallen nature of his parents; and that’s Seth. Seth was the godly one.

How come Seth turned out different than Cain? Not on the basis of how he was naturally born, but on the basis of choosing to be born again. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} …and that’s the only way, any of us, can go any different route than Cain went. That’s the only way. You’ve got to choose to be born again, but the vast majority of the human race didn’t, did they? How many generations did it take for the human race to be so depraved, so rebellious, so hopelessly corrupt, that God had to wipe them out? How many generations? Ten… ten; and in ten generations, what was the condition of the race? Genesis 6:5: “Then the Lord saw the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Wow! That’s pretty serious depravity. Are you with me? Do you understand what the condition of the race was? They came to the place where they were so incorrigibly rebellious, that they had all, with the exception of eight* {see below}, committed the unpardonable sin. Every intent of the thoughts of their heart, was only evil continually. That is coming to the place, where you are beyond the hope of salvation. And my dear friends, when the human race came to that condition, it was only merciful and loving of God to, what? …to wipe out the race, and He did it with the flood; and why is this, so profoundly significant? As it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the coming of the Son of Man. {Mat 24:37} And I am here to tell you before God, the human race is precious close to reaching that condition once again; and when the human race comes to the place where every intent of the thoughts of their hearts, are only evil continually, then probation will what? …will close. {DA 122.2, DA 633.2}

Why…? Why? Because further delay will not change anyone’s mind, and there will only be two groups. Those whose every intent of the thoughts of their heart is only holy continually, and those, whose every intent of the thoughts of their hearts, are only evil continually. There’ll only be two. That’s what it means to be either sealed or have the mark. Are you hearing me? …and at that point, God blows the whistle and probation closes, because further waiting won’t change anyone’s mind. And my dear friends, the only reason that God delays, is because He “is not willing that,” what? “…any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” {2 Pet 3:9} He’s a wonderful, merciful, patient God, and there are still candidates in the human race, that have the potential of changing their minds. And therefore, He delays… He waits. But my dear friends, when everyone comes to the place where no one is going to change their mind, then further waiting, is pointless. Do you hear me? …and that’s when probation closes, and God mercifully intervenes, and eliminates those who have incorrigibly set their wills in harmony with Satan’s. And in mercy to them, He eliminates them, as well as in mercy to the whole universe. More on that later.

Oh, the terrible consequence of the fall, my dear friends. We overlook it… we overlook it… We don’t see what happened to the human race very clearly, do we? Ten generations, all of them but eight had to be eliminated; and, what is the heart and core of the problem? Historical Sketches, page 138. Here it is, listen to it …and please, accept it. Some of you are having a hard time – I can tell by looking at you – accepting what I’m sharing with you. But I assure you, I’m not sharing with you my ideas – I didn’t used to believe this way – but my ideas, have had to adapt to what saith the Lord, not vice versa. God forgive us for a pride of opinion that causes us to force inspiration to support what we believe. Historical Sketches, page 138. Listen closely. Here is the core of the problem: “Selfishness is inwrought in our very being.” Pause. Selfishness is what? …inwrought. What does “inwrought” mean? “Interwoven.” Written upon every nerve, every fiber, every faculty… In other words… remember, that’s what love used to be, but at the fall, selfishness took the place of love. So now, what is interwoven? What is inwrought in every nerve, every fiber, every faculty? What is it? It’s selfishness. And next sentence: How has it come to us? Come on, read it. “It has come to us as an inheritance.” It has come to us, how? …as an inheritance. My dear friends, it is a birthright.

Bless their relatively… bless their relatively innocent little hearts… those little pink, or brown, or yellow, or black bundles, that we bring into this world, through the law of procreation; the law of heredity. What are they by nature? Come on, what are they by nature? They are selfish, any parent knows that. You don’t have to teach a child to be selfish, do you? Have any of you had children that you had to teach to be selfish? Did you have children that you had to say to: “No, no, no, no, you mustn’t share your toys so much. You need to learn to keep them to yourself a little more.” Did you have children like that? No, you didn’t! Why? Because they are naturally selfish. By the way, before you get too upset with them for that selfishness, you need to ask yourself, where they got it from. And I don’t know about you, but this father, found it most challenging to be patient with those particular aspects of selfishness, that I had been harassed with, all my of life; and I saw mirrored to me, in my children. Come on, can any of you identify with that? {Yes} Selfishness is inwrought in our very being, it has come to us, as an inheritance {HS 138.7}; and, is selfishness sin? Come on now, is selfishness sin? Under the heading of selfishness, comes every other sin. {4T 384.3} Selfishness is sin in essence, and we have it as an inheritance, written upon every nerve, every fiber, every faculty of our being. Face it my dear friends. You see, it’s not until we recognize, that the natural heart is governed by selfishness, that we are ever in a position to fully appreciate, that we can get a new heart… that has a new law written upon it. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen} You’ve got to understand the bad news before you’re in a position to appreciate the good news. {Amen} You’ve got to understand how hopeless and helpless you are by natural birth, before you can appreciate the hope, and the help, that is yours through spiritual rebirth. {Amen} You’ve got to recognize how messed up you are, on the count of first Adam, before you can appreciate what the second Adam has done to make it all better. The good news is only as good as the bad news is bad.

How does David speak of this reality? Psalm 51:5: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” This is Biblical, my dear friends. This is Bible truth. I was brought forth in iniquity. I was born in a state of sin. Why? Why? What’s the reason? In sin my mother, what? …conceived me. There are those… bless their hearts, because they can’t bring themselves to accept this very humbling truth regarding their natural birth; they would have us believe that all David is confessing here, is that he was conceived out of wedlock. I assure you, that’s not what David is confessing here. The Spirit of Prophecy says that Psalm 51 is the model prayer of repentance, for every sinner. I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t conceived out of wedlock. I don’t have to confess that. But I certainly have to confess, that I was conceived by selfish, rebellious parents, who by the law of heredity, gave me a selfish, rebellious heart. It’s not until I confess that, that I will, as David did just a few verses later, get down on my knees and say, “Create in me a clean heart, oh God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Because the one I received as a natural inheritance, is defiled by the spirit of selfishness; and that’s why, all of my righteousnesses are as what? …filthy rags {Is 64:6}; those are the good things I do. But because of my naturally selfish heart they are, what? …defiled.

My dear friends, you and I can’t even begin to truly obey God’s law, until we get that new heart. But we won’t get that new heart, until we ask for it; and we won’t ask for it, until we recognize we need it.

This is why it’s so imperative, that we recognize our terrible birthright by natural inheritance. Praise God, there’s a spiritual inheritance from the second Adam. Paul speaks of this reality in Ephesians 2:1-3, as follows: “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature,” were what? “…by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” Paul includes himself in that. “By nature children of wrath.” Review and Herald, January 6, 1891. Listen to this one: “Men are selfish by nature.” Men are what…? Selfish by what? …by nature. This is why, we are sinful by nature… because selfishness is sin, and we commit sin, because we are sinful. We don’t become sinful because we commit sin. Are you hearing me? We commit sin because we have selfish hearts. We are carnally minded, and the carnal mind is what? “…enmity against God, it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed,” what? “…can be.” {Rom 8:7} What’s the only thing the carnal mind can do? …is commit sin. That’s the only thing it can do, my dear friends.

Now, mind you, …and we’ve given you this qualification; the carnal mind does a scary fake job of obedience. {SC 58.1} It can bring your behavior into compliance with the letter of the law, so that you will look good, and be admired, and appreciated, and be promoted… But that’s not obedience; that’s hypocrisy. Are you with me? The reason the carnal mind can’t possibly obey is because the carnal mind, can’t possibly love. It’s only selfish. You can’t even begin to obey unless you get a new heart, because only a new heart can love; and love, is the fulfilling of the law. Are you with me? You see that, don’t you? Love is the fulfilling of the law. {Rom 13:10} I don’t care how well you comply with the letter of the law, if it’s not motivated by love, it’s not obedience. It’s not… it’s not obedience. “Men are selfish by nature. They act from impulse, without reference to the will of God. Their own will is the criterion.” {RH, Jan 6, 1891} Oh, what a sad commentary on the fallen nature of man… Paul puts it this way. Philippians 2:21, “For all seek their own…” How many? “All seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus.” Listen to the comment, the inspired comment on that very verse. Signs of the Times, June 2, 1887: “It is plainly written on the unrenewed heart and on a fallen world, ‘All seek their own.'” And what does this mean? Reading on: “Selfishness is the great law of our degenerate nature. Selfishness occupies the place in the soul, where Christ should sit enthroned.” And when did that happen? That happened 6,000 years ago, in the Garden of Eden, when Adam sinned and selfishness took the place of love; and by the law of heredity, every one of us is born with selfishness enthroned in human nature.

But praise God, we can by choice, put Jesus on the throne of our hearts. We can be born again. I praise God for that! My dear friends, I am very, very concerned, when I recognize that many of us, in this beloved church, have failed to understand the terrible, radical consequence of the fall of man. Because you see, if you fail to recognize the terrible, radical consequence of the fall of man, you are not going to be in a position to appreciate – as you ought, or ask for – as you must, the provisions of the plan of salvation. You see, it’s not just incidental, it’s not just… something we’re doing here, just to entertain you, to explore together how messed up we are on account of the fall. My dear friends, we’ve got to recognize, that before we will see the true depths of our sinfulness – and you’ve got to see the true depths of your sinfulness – before you will go seeking whole-heartedly a Savior. Are you with me? {Amen} If you think that sin is only our willful choice to disobey God’s law, then, the only thing that you will seek for is forgiveness for your sins. But my dear friends, there’s a deeper dimension to the sin-problem. It’s capital S-I-N. It’s that selfish, rebellious heart. Yes, Jesus wants to forgive you for your sins, but He wants to deal not only with the fruit; He wants to deal with the root. {Amen} He wants to give you a new heart… {Ez 36:26} that is governed by the law of love. Do I hear an “amen”? {Amen}

But can He give that to you, if you won’t ask for it? – No. And will you ask for it, if you don’t recognize your need of it? – No. Is it then, important to recognize the need? – Yes, and we’re going to be coming back to this point. So, this is not just a… you know, a study for the sake of giving you some interesting things to think about it. My dear friends, this is salvific. This has to do with our own personal salvation. Understanding the truth regarding the sin-problem is essential if we are going to be ready to ask for, and appreciate, and eagerly accept the sin-solution… in its entirety. Oh, the terrible consequence to the human race, of eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Listen to how inspiration puts it. This is found, in Education, page 25. Education, page 25: “Where once was written only the character of God, the knowledge of good, was now written also the character of Satan, the knowledge of evil.” Interesting… Before eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, what’s the only knowledge man had? The knowledge of good…, which is the character of who? {God} …of God. But after man ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, what knowledge did he gain? The knowledge of evil, which is the character of who? {Satan} …Satan. Now, he has both, the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil. Both, vestiges of the character of God and the character of Satan, is now a factor in his life.

But of those two, after the fall, which is predominant? Which governs him? Which dominates? It’s the knowledge of evil, my dear friends. It’s the knowledge of what? …the knowledge of evil. Though man still – after the fall – has a conscience for instance, which is part of the knowledge of good, that bothers him when he does wrong, and that causes him to desire to do, and be better than he is. Though he has still vestiges of the character of God, does he have the power to actually do better in himself? In his fallen state, does he? No. Without Me, you can do what? …nothing. {Jn 15:5} Nothing… Satan was so thrilled when he managed to replace the transcript of God’s character – the law of love – with the transcript of his own character – the law of selfishness – and get that to be the dominant, motivating principle, in the nature of man. He was thrilled. But watch this closely. He was not satisfied with just accomplishing that feat. He was determined, that he would get even the vestiges of the image of God, removed from human nature. He was determined to entirely obliterate the glory, and it has been his agenda to do so, ever since; and in 10 generations, he managed to do so in the entire race with the exception of eight, …and he’s been working at it, ever since… with the exception of, I hope, each one in this room.

And how has he been doing it? How has he been busily defacing the vestiges of the image of God, in man? By erasing the vestiges of the law of God from the heart of man. Did you hear me? How is he defacing the vestiges of the image of God, in man? By erasing the vestiges of the law of God from the heart of man. And how does he do that? Listen. Manuscript Release, Volume 9, page 229: “God’s law had once been written in the hearts of men and women. But their cherished sins dimmed and nearly effaced that writing. The impressions made by sin gradually wore away the impressions of the law.” How does he get us to erase even the vestiges of the law of God from our conscience? By getting us to willfully choose to what? {Sin} …sin. And every time we do that in violation of our conscience, what happens? What happens? Come on, what happens? It gets seared. It gets silenced… until eventually, what? We can’t hear it any more, and that my friends, is the unpardonable sin. {Mat 12:31} Do you understand what I just explained? That’s the unpardonable sin {5T 634.1}, and that’s his goal for every one of us in this room. That’s what he’s trying to do. Please don’t cooperate with him in that process. Please don’t cooperate with him in that process! For your sake, I beg of you, but especially for Christ’s sake… Who paid an infinite price to be able to restore in you, His image. Let Him do that, please.

I close with this familiar story. It’s found in 1 Samuel 4:21. Eli’s sons in disobedience have taken the Ark of the Covenant into battle against the Philistines. They were hoping it would bring them victory, kind of like a good luck charm. They’d heard the stories about what the ark of God had done in the past, and they were hoping it would do it again. But there was one big problem. The law was only in the ark. It wasn’t in their hearts, and so God couldn’t fight with them, and for them; and what happened on the battlefield that day? What happened? They lost the battle. They also lost their lives. But is that all they lost? They lost the ark, and my dear friends, you and I can’t possibly appreciate how devastating that was to the children of Israel. We can’t. Why? Because we don’t understand how their whole personal identity, their whole self-worth, was tied in, with the fact that God had entrusted to them His law. That’s what made them, in their estimation, superior to everyone else, and here, their worst enemy had taken the law away in battle. It was terrible news.

And a messenger is sent back to break the news to Eli; and he comes, and when Eli hears it, what happens? …he falls over and dies. It’s so overwhelming. But the messenger’s job isn’t over yet. He’s got to inform the wives of the two dead boys. I’ve always felt so badly about one of the wives in particular, because she happens to be in labor; bringing forth Eli’s grandson, one of the boys son’s. Does the messenger wait for a more opportune moment? No, he burst into the tent and breaks the news to this poor woman in labor. It’s so overwhelming that she dies in childbirth. But before she dies, what does she do? What does she do? She names the son after the circumstances of its birth… in typical Hebrew fashion; Hebrews often did this. What is the name she gave him? Pick it up in 1 Samuel 4:21: “Then she named the child Ichabod, saying, ‘The glory has departed from Israel!'” What key word did you hear in that sentence? “Glory.” What does glory mean? “Character.” Now, please note something profoundly significant. When Moses on Mount Sinai said, “I pray Thee, show me Thy glory.” {Ex 33:18} Do you know what the Hebrew word is that’s translated “glory”? It’s “chabod.” It’s what? …it’s “chabod.” Do you hear that in “Ichabod”? “Ee” is simply the negation in the Hebrew language. “Ee” means “no” or “none.” “No glory,” is what that boy was named. That’s why we are told, immediately after she named the child Ichabod, saying what? “‘The glory has departed from Israel!'” Why? “…because the ark of God had been captured, and because of her father-in-law and her husband.” Both of whom were dead.

But please notice, in the next verse we have a repeat. But this time only the most important reason for the glory departing is given. What is it? “…and she said: ‘The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.'” We have a repeat, my dear friends, and whenever Scripture repeats something, it’s because it’s, what? …it’s important. Do you see the profound spiritual truth here? Do you see the object lesson? Why had the glory departed? Because the ark had been captured. But what was in the ark? The law of God, which is the transcript of His… character, which is His glory. Of course, when the enemy succeeded in taking the law of God out of the holy of holies, Ichabod was the result. The glory departed.

And my brother, my sister precisely so it was when the enemy of our soul took the law of God from the holy of holies in this body temple, and replaced it with what? …the law of selfishness. What happened? “Ichabod” happened. The glory departed and for 6,000 years we, the human race, have been plummeting from degradation to degradation, into the satanic character likeness. That’s the bad news. The good news will follow. That’s why you’ve got to come back tomorrow night. My dear friends, the essence of the good news is found in a promise, and what’s that promise? It’s the new covenant promise, and what does it say? “I will write my law in their hearts and in their minds.” {Jer 31:33} God has devised a plan, whereby the law, can once again, be restored to the holy of holies, and become the governing power, the principle, the spirit that rules human nature. {Amen} And we can be changed from glory to glory through the plan of salvation. Once again, we can fulfill our God ordained, sin-forfeited, but now blood-salvaged destiny. {Amen} Please come back, and let us study that plan together. Shall we stand for a closing prayer?

Father in Heaven, I thank you so much for helping us understand the bad news. It’s prepared us to appreciate all the more, and eagerly accept the good news. Bring us back again tomorrow night, as we continue in our study of how can we be changed – in spite of the fall – through the plan of salvation, from glory to glory. This is our prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen. God bless you friends, God bless you.


It is plainly written on the unrenewed heart and on a fallen world, All seek their own. Selfishness is the great law of our degenerate nature. Selfishness occupies that place in the soul where Christ should sit enthroned. Never does Satan more effectually accomplish his work than in controlling the minds and hearts of those who minister in sacred things. Transforming himself into an angel of light, his true character is not discerned. Alas, how many of the agents of the great deceiver are to be found in the holy office of the ministry! They may possess intellectual ability, they study, preach, and pray, and are looked upon as pious men because engaged in a sacred work. Then, taking advantage of the confidence reposed in them, they lead souls to ruin and to death. There are men in holy office today who are similar in character to Hophni and Phinehas. They give loose rein to passion, and disguise their depravity under a cloak of religion. When at last their true character is detected and exposed, the faith of the people receives a shock that often destroys their confidence in religion. Imperceptibly there is left upon the mind a distrust of all who profess to teach the word of God. The message of the true servant of Christ is doubtfully received. The question constantly comes up, “Will not this man prove to be like the one we thought so holy and found so corrupt?” Thus the word of God loses its power upon the souls of men. These false shepherds are of the class who in the day of God will say, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” It is to such men that our Lord will declare, “I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” {ST, December 8, 1881 par. 5}


* – For one hundred and twenty years Noah proclaimed the message of warning to the antediluvian world; but only a few repented. Some of the carpenters he employed in building the ark, believed the message, but died before the flood; others of Noah’s converts backslided. The righteous on the earth were but few, and only eight lived to enter the ark. These were Noah and his family. {RH, August 16, 1906 par. 2}

Noah and his family were not alone in fearing and obeying God. But Noah was the most pious and holy of any upon the earth, and was the one whose life God preserved to carry out his will in building the ark and warning the world of its coming doom. Methuselah, the grandfather of Noah, lived until the very year of the flood; and there were others who believed the preaching of Noah, and aided him in building the ark, who died before the flood of waters came upon the earth. Noah, by his preaching and example in building the ark, condemned the world. God gave all who chose an opportunity to repent and turn to him. But they believed not the preaching of Noah. They mocked at his warnings, and ridiculed the building of that immense vessel on dry land. Noah’s efforts to reform his fellow-men did not succeed. But for more than one hundred years he persevered in his efforts to turn men to repentance and to God. Every blow struck upon the ark was preaching to the people. Noah directed, he preached, he worked, while the people looked on in amazement, and regarded him as a fanatic. {1SP 70.1}


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